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U. M. ELLIS-FERMOR, M.A., B.Litt. 




Originally Published 1930 
Reprinted 1966 


All rights reserved 

Published by Gordian Press, Inc., by 

arrangement with Methuen and Co. Ltd., London 

Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 66-23027 

Printed in the U.S.A. by 

Ann Arbor, Michigan 


IN the present edition the text of the 1590 octavo (Oj) 
has been followed as closely as is consistent with a 
readable, modernized text, but it may be remarked in 
passing that modernized texts are inevitably unscientific to 
some degree. Readings from the other early editions or 
conjectures have only been substituted when they seemed 
necessary for the elucidation of passages that could not 
otherwise be explained. In some notably corrupt passages, 
such as I. v. ii. 121-4, it has seemed better, however, to 
allow an imperfect reading from 1590 to stand in its entirety 
and to explain variants and conjectures, whether helpful or 
not, in the footnotes. In the collations appear only the 
main variants, though these are, it is hoped, complete ; 
mere differences of spelling where no other differences appear 
to be involved, have not been represented. The following 
procedure has been adopted ; where, in the collations, a 
reading appears thus : * ships] ship Og.' it means that all 
early editions read ships (or its equivalent in one form or 
other of Elizabethan spelling), as given in the text, except 
the edition of 1593 (Og) which reads ship. Such conjectures 
or emendations as have not been embodied in the text are, 
in general, mentioned in the footnote upon the line in 

It is difficult to decide how far the spelling and punc- 
tuation of the 1590 octavo should be retained in a modern 
edition and, whatever system be adopted, a certain amount 
of inconsistency and at worst an occasional petitio principii 
is unavoidable in respect of the form chosen for incorpora- 
tion in the text and of the amount included in the collations. 


I have retained the spelHng of the original in the majority 
of proper names (and in a few other cases, to which refer- 
ence is made in the notes). Thus, words such as EHsian, 
Moroccus, Alcaron, which frequently appear also during 
this same period in the form Elysium, Morocco, etc., are 
represented here by the spelling of Oi ; to alter them would, 
moreover, make a slight difference in the sound of the line, 
and, though we have no reason to assume that Marlowe 
saw the edition through the press himself, it seems safer 
to retain a form which might represent his intention. In 
the case of final ' ed ' and similar syllables, where elision 
appears to occur indifferently in the old texts, the reading 
of Oi has been followed. Where elision ('d, 'st, etc.) is used 
there, it appears also in the present text and when the full 
forms are used there they are expressed in such modern 
equivalents as most nearly represent the original. The 
metre of the line must determine, as in many similar cases, 
whether these variable, unstressed vowels are to be given 
syllabic value or not. 

Capital letters appear to be used in the octavos to give 
additional emphasis to words charged with emotional sig- 
nificance, but they have been eliminated in modernizing.^ 
Their inclusion, in the absence of the congruent spelling 
and punctuation, would undoubtedly prejudice the reading 
rather than assist it. In a few cases they have been retained 
(with perhaps doubtful advantage, even so !) where their 
occurrence seemed so obviously to modify the significance 
of a phrase as to be best represented by the use of the 
same convention to-day. The rhythmic punctuation pre- 
sents a difficult problem and that of the original has been 
discarded in favour of an attempt to present, according to 
modern conventions of grammatical punctuation, the mean- 
ing I believe Marlowe's sentences to contain. The original 

1 For the part played by capital letters in a sixteenth- or early seven- 
teenth-century text, see P. Simpson : Shakespearian Punctuation, 43 
(Oxf. 1 911). Some interesting examples of the work of the printer of 
Tamhurlaine (Oj) will be found in Part I, II. ii. 71-3 and II. iii. 14-23. 


punctuation is, I think, rhythmical ; that is, the Hues are 
pointed for the actor or speaker, not punctuated for the 
grammarian. Thus, commas, semicolons and even colons 
occur sometimes where there is no logical pause (almost 
as a stage direction to the actor telling him to emphasize 
a significant word) and full stops where modern convention 
would adopt a comma. The use of the sign : (or :) 
for the question-mark and exclamation mark indifferently is 
common and in a few cases there is some slight difficulty 
in determining which of the modern signs should be used. 
One or two passages pointed according to the original will 
serve to show the difference between the two systems and 
to support the previous remarks. 

1. Our soules, whose faculties can comprehend 
The wondrous Architecture of the world : 
And measure every wandring plannets course. 
Still climing after knowledge infinite, 

And alwaies mooving as the res ties Spheares. 

Wils us to weare our selves and never rest. 

Until we reach the ripest fruit of all. 

That perfect blisse and sole felicitie. 

The sweete fruition of an earthly crowne. [Part I, ii. vii. 21-9J 

2. I conquered all as far as Zansibar, 
Then by the Northerne part of Affrica. 

I came at last to Graecia, and from thence 
To Asia,^^^ where I stay against my will,^"^ 
Which is from Scythia,^'^ where I first began/''^ 
Backeward and forwards nere five thousand leagues, 
Looke here my boies,^'^ see what a world of ground, ^"^ 
Lies westward from the midst of Cancers line, 
Unto the rising of this earthly globe, 
Whereas the Sun declining from our sight. 
Begins the day with our Antypodes : 
And shall I die, and this unconquered : 

[Part II, Act V, Sc. iii. 139-150] 

Noteworthy in the first of these passages are the frequent 
long pauses which give weight and emphasis to the thought, 
the actor's voice dwelling upon the significant words, which. 


as usually with Marlowe, tend to fall at the ends of the 
lines (lines 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.) ^ Individual words 
are also isolated here and there ; ' soules ' by the succeed- 
ing comma, ' Architecture ' and ' Spheares ' by the capital 
letter. 2 The second passage is of a different character. 
Tamburlaine's emotion hurries him on and the stopping is 
relatively light ; commas alone are used,^ with the excep- 
tion of the emphatic pauses to emphasize the words ' Affrica ' 
(line 2) and ' Antypodes ' (line 11). The octavo seems, on 
the whole, to be an example of judicious rhythmical pointing 
and it is with great regret and some misgivings that an 
editor attempts to translate it into the relatively less 
significant modern form. 

I have kept the old stage directions when they occur, 
rather than those of subsequent editors, for their pictur- 
esqueness and, in general, their succinctness. There seems 
no need to discard these indications of Elizabethan stage 
procedure in favour of the more conventional modern forms, 
especially in a play in which they are relatively full and 
graphic. When it has been necessary to supply one not 
given in the old texts I have taken that of Dyce or Wagner. 
This system has been applied also to the titles of the persons 
and the prefixes of lines ; where the old version needed 
elucidation, this has been added in a footnote. 

I am deeply indebted to several friends without whose 
assistance certain parts of this work could not have been 
attempted ; to Professor C. F. Tucker Brooke for the 
readings of the 1597 octavo and for the invaluable aid of 
his conclusions on the relations of the four texts ; to Dr. 
W. W. Greg for the loan of books and for advice on many 
bibliographical details and to Professor R. H. Case, the 
general editor of the series, for guidance and suggestions 

1 See Simpson, 31, 35. 

2 Simpson, 7, 43, i. 

^ The commas are used in various ways ; many of those in the second 
quotation are pecuhar to EHzabethan pointing and will be explained by 
a study of the following sections of Mr. Simpson's book : 2 (1. 7 (i)), 6 
(11. 6, 8), 7 (11. 3, 4 (i), 5 (i)). 10 (1. 7 (ii)), II (11. 4 (ii). 5 ("). 9, lo). 


on many points. For further suggestions and criticism, for 
checking of translations, notes and text, I wish to thank 
Miss D. Tarrant, Miss E. Seat on. Monsieur R. Pruvost, 
Miss J. H. Perry, Miss E. Boswell, Miss H. Northcott 
and Miss P. Ashburner. For permission to reprint, in 
Appendix D (p. 299), a portion of Chap. XII of Mr. Guy 
le Strange's The Embassy of Clavijo in the series Broad- 
way Travellers, I wish to thank the pubHshers, George 
Routledge and Sons, Ltd. Finally, I should like to acknow- 
ledge the suggestions made in the discussion of the play 
by the students of my seminar class and the unfailing 
courtesy and assistance rendered by the officials of the 
British Museum Library. 

U. M. E.-F. 
St. John's Wood, 

April, 1930 


Asia ......... Frontispiece 

Africa ....... Facing page 178 

Reproduced from Ortelius : Tkeatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1584 


Preface ..... 
Introduction .... 
I Early Editions 
II Date of the Play 

III Authorship of the Play 

IV Sources of the Play 
V The Stage History of Tamburlaine 

The First Part of Tamburlaine the Great 
The Second Part of Tamburlaine the Great 

Appendices : 

(A) The Text of Tamburlaine I and II 

(B) Later Editions ...... 

(C) Fortescue's Foreste : Chapter XIV 

(D) Extracts from other accounts of Tamburlaine 

(E) Short Book List ...... 

Index to Proper Names ..... 

General Index 













Oj . The octavo edition of 1590. See Introduction I and Appendix A . 
*-^2 • »> >> >> ^593' >> >> 

03 . „ „ „ 1597- >. 

04 . „ ,, ,, 1605-6 „ 
Rob. . Robinson's edition of 1826. See Appendix E. 
Wag. . Wagner's ,, ,, 1885. 
T.B. . The Oxford Edition (1910), by C. F. Tucker Brooke. 

(For other references in collations and footnotes where the name of the 

author only is mentioned, see Appendix E under the name.) 
N.E.D. The New Oxford English Dictionary. 
T.L.S. The Times Literary Supplement 
O Bodleian Library 

Hn. Huntington Library 

L British Museum Library 






THE two parts of Tamhurlaine have come down to 
us in four editions ; nine complete copies and two 
fragments. The earliest edition, of which there 
is one copy in the Bodleian Library and one in the Hunting- 
ton Library, is that of 1590 (Oj). The title-page runs : 
' Tamburlaine | the Great. | Who, from a Scythian Shep- 
hearde, | by his rare and woonderfull Conquests, | became a 
most puissant and migh | tye Monarque. | And (for his tyranny, 
and terrour in | Warre) was tearmed, | The Scourge of God. | 
Devided into two Tragicall Dis | courses, as they were sundrie 
times I shewed upon Stages in the Citie | of London. | By the 
right honorable the Lord | Admyrall, his servantes. | Now 
first, and newlie published. | [Device] | London. | Printed by 
Richard Ihones : at the signe | of the Rose and Crowne 
neere Hoi | borne Bridge. 1590.' This volume is an octavo 
in Black Letter, (A — KgLg^) and the Huntington copy, upon 
which the present text is based, is in a better state of preserva- 
tion than the Bodleian copy, in which the margins have 
been cut down so that the ends of lines are occasionally 
missing, 1 or the pages mutilated so that the last lines on 

1 Part I, Act III, Sc. iii, 11. 27, 28, 30, 36, 40, 44, 47. Part II, Act II, 
Sc. i, 11. 2, 3, 4. 

1 1 


each side of a leaf are gone/ while in one case a whole leaf, 
Kg, is torn out.^ 

The second edition is that of 1593, O2 (since 1850 generally 
referred to as 1592), an 8vo in Black Letter (A — Igy.) of 
which the only copy is in the British Museum Library. The 
title-page runs like that of the Oi (with slight variations 
in spelling only) for the first half and then continues : * The 
first part of the two Tragicall dis | courses, as they were 
sundrie times most | stately shewed upon Stages in the | 
Citie of London. | By the right honorable the Lord Admirall, | 
his servauntes. | Now newly published. | [Device] Printed by 
Richard lones, dwelling at the signe of | the Rose and Crowne 
neere Holborne | Bridge. 1593.' In spite of the implication 
in the words ' The first part ', the second part has no separate 
title-page but only, like Oi, a half-title. ^ The type is smaller 
and the lines more closely set than those of Oi, but apart 
from the somewhat cramped effect of the close type, it is 
an eminently readable copy. The last figure of the date on 
the title-page is imperfect ; if a 2, it lacks the serif common 
to the other 2s of the fount, and if a 3, it lacks the lower 
lobe. It has been customary since Dyce's edition of 1850 
to refer to it as the 1592 edition and scholars such as Wagner 
have explained the discrepancy by suggesting that the 2 
had been artificially converted into a 3. But the older 
commentators from Langbaine to Brought on have, as I have 
shown elsewhere,* consistently referred to a 1593 edition 
and never to a 1592. The older nomenclature has been 
reverted to in the present edition. 

The third edition, that of 1597, O3, though known to 
J. P. Collier,^ was lost to sight until the sale of the New- 
digate Library in 1920, when it passed into the Huntington 

1 Part I, Act IV, Sc. iii, 11. 42-6 and Sc. iv, S.D. ' with others ' — 1. 2. 

2 The Hn. copy is on the whole a clear and readable text with relatively 
few imperfectly inked or broken words or letters. In Sig. G and one or 
two other sheets the printing on one page has made that of the previous 
page obscure. 

3 See Part II, Heading, p. 182. * See my note in T.L.S., June 1929. 
^ See the note upon the 1597 text which he sent to Cunningham and 

which Cunningham reproduced on p. 368 of his edition of Marlowe's works. 


Library and has since been available for reference.^ It is 
also a Black Letter octavo (A — Lg). The title-page runs : 
' Tamburlaine | the Great. | Who, from the state of | a shep- 
heard in Scythia, by his | rare and wonderful Conquests, 
be I came a most puissant and mightie | Monarque. | As it 
was acted : by the right Ho | norable, the Lord Admyrall | 
his servauntes. | [Device : McKerrow, No. 283] ^ | Printed 
at London by Richard lohnes : at the Rose | and Crowne, 
next above St. Andrewes | Church in Holborne. 1597.' The 
second part has, again, only a half-title,^ but ' a portrait of 
Zenocrate fills the blank half-page of F5 (recto) at which 
Part I closes. This portrait is peculiar to the 1597 edition * '. 
The portrait of Tamburlaine common to all except the 1605 
edition appears in this text on the verso of F5. This is the 
least clear and the hardest to read of all the texts ; blots, 
blind and broken letters are frequent. 

The fourth edition has survived in at least five complete 
copies of its two parts (in the Bodleian, British Museum, 
Huntington, Dyce and White libraries), in further copies of 
single parts, Part II in the Library of J. L. Clawson and a 
mutilated copy of Part I wanting the title leaf and A 2, 
in the Huntington Library.^ It consists also of two 
Black Letter octavos,^ Part I, 1605 (A— 14), Part II, 1606 
(A— l4v) with a separate title-page for the second part. 

1 In a note upon this copy Professor C. F. Tucker Brooke says that it 
is bound with J. Sylvester's translation, The Maiden's Blush (1620), that 
the title-page bears the signature ' Mary Leigh ', and that the verso of the 
last leaf, 1. 8, has a MS. note ' Radulphus Farmar est verus possessor 
huius libri '. 

2 See R. B. McKerrow, Printers' and Publishers'' Devices (1913). 

3 See the note on Part II, Heading. 

* Note by Professor C. F. Tucker Brooke. 

^ See below under ' quarto ' of 1590. 

^ These two parts have been generally referred to as quartos, but the 
position of the chain lines and the water-marks shows that the original 
sheet has been folded as an octavo. The signatures (in fours) and the 
relatively large size of the volume have caused it to appear a quarto. 
In the B.M. copy of Part II the outer forme of sheet H has been smudged 
(H, H2v, H3, H4v) while the rest of the printing is clear. These facts 
suggest quarto imposition with octavo folding. As, strictly, the folding 
of the paper is the determining factor, it seems preferable to refer to 
the volumes as octavos. 


These then run : ' Tamburlaine the | Great e. | Who, from 
the state of a Shepheard | in Scythia, by his rare and | won- 
derfull Conquests, became | a most puissant and mighty] 
Monarque. | [Device : McKerrow, No. 270.] | London | 
Printed for Edward White, and are to be solde | at the little 
North doore of Saint Paules | Church, at the signe of the 
Gunne. | 1605 * and ' Tamburlaine the | Greate. | With his 
impassionate furie, for the | death of his Lady and Love 
faire Zenocra | te : his forme of exhortation and discipline | 
to his three Sonnes, and the manner of | his owne death. | 
[Rule] I The second part | [Rule] | [Device] | London | 
Printed by E.A. for Ed. White, and are to be solde | at 
his Shop neere the little North doore of Saint Paules | Church 
at the Signe of the Gun. | 1606 |.' ^ 

These four octavos are the only editions known to-day, 
but some of the older commentators have references to two 
which appear at first to be different editions but resolve 
themselves upon examination into one or other of these 
four. Dyce, Hazlitt, Cunningham and Bullen have refer- 
ences to a quarto of 1590, supposed to survive only in its 
title leaf and first subsequent leaf which were ' pasted into 
a copy of the First Part of Tamburlaine in the Library at 
Bridge-water House ; which copy, excepting the title-page 
and the Address to the Readers, is the impression of 1605 '.^ 
It was assumed by Hazlitt that the play had thus gone 
through two editions within the year 1590.^ Wagner, in 
the preface to his edition in 1885,* showed that this title 
leaf and A 2 were no other than fragments of the already 
known 1590 8vo, the two copies corresponding exactly in 
position, size of letters, spacing, etc. In 1926 the Short Title 

1 This is, on the whole, a clear and legible edition in a type of approxi- 
mately the same size as that of 1590 and 1597, but averaging five or six 
more lines to the page. 

2 A, Dyce, Works of Christopher Marlowe . . . (i 850-1 858), 

3 W. C. Hazlitt, Handbook to Early English Literature (1867), p. 373, 
under Tamburlaine (a). 

* Marlowes Werke {Historisch-Kritische Ausgabe), I, Tamburlaine v. 
A. Wagner. Heilbronn, 1885. 


Catalogue, in addition to the two copies already mentioned, 
entered under No. 17424 ' Tamburlaine the Great. [Anon.] 
P*^. I, 8°Sig. A — 14, R.Jhones, 1590 ' . . ., thus reviving the 
myth in a slightly modified form, the quarto becoming a 
previous octavo. In point of fact there is, as Wagner 
pointed out, one 1590 edition only, which we now know 
to exist in the two complete copies described above and 
this fragment of a third. 

The other case of duplication is that of the 1592/1593 
8vo of which mention has already been made,^ which, owing 
to the dubious condition of the date on its title-page, is 
generally cited as a 1593 edition in references before 1850 
and as a 1592 edition in those between 1850 and our own 
day. As I have shown elsewhere, ^ there is little likelihood 
that these two sets of references imply the existence, at 
any time, of a 1592 and a 1593 edition.^ 

The relations of three of these texts were examined care- 
fully by A. Wagner in the Preface to his edition and there 
is little to add to his conclusions except in so far as they 
are affected by the addition of the octavo of 1597 which 
was unknown to him. Briefly, the relations may be summed 
up thus : the surviving 1590 octavo appears to be the 
original edition upon which all the others are more or less 
directly based ; none of them appear, by their readings, 
to suggest the existence of another and lost early edition 
which would rival the 1590 octavo, Oi, as a foundation for 
the later texts. The text of Oi is by no means devoid of 
errors and misprints, many of which all three of the later 
texts faithfully reproduce. O2 thus appears to be based 
directly on Oj, introducing a large number of fresh errors 
and very seldom correcting those of any importance in its 
predecessor ; ^ O3 goes back, not to O2, but to Oj, coinciding 

1 See supra, p. 2. 2 gee T.L.S., June 1929. 

^ Allusions to a 1600 410 also occur in MS. notes by Oldys in Langbaine 
(B.M.C. 57. 1. 12 and C.28.g.l.). 

* Wagner says (op. cit., p. xxv), 'In der Tat ist B (= 1593) nichts 
anderes, als ein Abdruck von A. (= 1590), allerdings ein durch eine grosse 
Anzahl neu hinzugefiigter Fehler bedeutend verschlechterter. . . . B hat 


with it in a large number of cases in which O2 differs from 
it, introducing some fresh errors, but by no means so many 
as O2 and occasionally correcting an original error which 
O2 had retained. It only once agrees with O 2 independently 
of the other editions. O4 appears to be based on O3, from 
which it differs sometimes to introduce a hitherto un- 
represented reading or an obvious misprint, but seldom 
to agree with Oi in conflict with O3 and in only eight cases 
in the whole text to agree with O 2 in conflict with O3. 
There is therefore no question as to which text should 
form the basis of an edition of Tamburlaine} 



The date which has been generally accepted for the com- 
pletion of the first part of Tamhurlaine and its first perform- 
ance is the winter of 1587/8 and that for the second part 
very shortly afterwards, the spring or early summer of 1588. 
It has been diflicult to find conclusive evidence in support 
of either of these dates as the first edition and the entry 
at Stationers' Hall both belong to 1590 (' xiiij*° die Augusti | 
Richard Jones | Entred unto him for his Copye | The twooe 
commicall' discourses of Tomberlein the Cithian shepparde \ 
under the handes of Master Abraham Hartewell, and the 
Wardens . . . Vjd ') and the first performances of which we 
have a record run from August 28, 1594 onwards. ^ But 
it is obvious from contemporary allusions that the play 
was known to the general reading and writing public before 
the earlier of these and upon the most definite allusion, 
that of the preface to Greene's Perimedes, the arguments 
for dating the play have generally depended. The passage 

zwar eine Anzahl von Fehlern seiner Vorlage korrigiert, aber dies sind 
meistens Druckfehler der einfachsten Art.' 

^ For a fuller discussion of this relationship, see Appendix A, ' The Text 
of Tamhurlaine i and 2.' 

2 See Henslowe's Diary, ed. W. W. Greg, Pt. II, pp. 167, 168, and p. 61 
of this introduction. The Stage History of the Play. 


from Greene's epistle is quoted below (see pp. 12-13) and the 
words ' daring God out of heaven with that Atheist Tam- 
hurlan ' have always seemed a sufficiently clear allusion to 
the passage in which Tamburlaine, collecting and burning 
the Alcoran and other religious works of the Mahometans 
in his camp before Babylon, denounces Mahomet in the 
bitter words which vibrate with Marlowe's hatred of con- 
ventional religious observance, while still suffused with his 
passionate desire for religion : 

' Now Mahomet, if thou have any power, 

' Come downe thy selfe and worke a myracle, 

' Thou art not woorthy to be worshipped, 

' That suffers flames of fire to burne the writ 

' Wherein the sum of thy religion rests. 

' Why sends 't thou not a furious whyrlwind downe, 

' To blow thy Alcaron up to thy throne, 

' Where men report, thou sitt'st by God himseJfe, 

' Or vengeance on the head of Tamhurlain, 

' That shakes his sword against thy majesty, 

' And spurns the Abstracts of thy foolish lawes. 

' Wei souldiers, Mahomet remaines in hell, 

' He cannot heare the voice of Tamhurlain, 

' Seeke out another Godhead to adore, 

* The God that sits in heaven, if any God, 

'For he is God alone, and none but he.' 

[Part II. Act V. Sc. i. 11. 186-201] 

There are, of course, a number of other passages in the 
second part of the play and not a few, even, in the first 
part, which might have drawn upon Tamburlaine the 
epithet ' atheist ', which, in the mind of Greene and his 
readers, probably meant a man who held unorthodox tenets.^ 
But if these passages be examined it will be found that 
by far the most striking of them belong to Part II ^ and 

1 The Elizabethan term ' atheist ' never means a man who denies the 
existence of a deity, but only a man who denies the supremacy of that form 
of deity which the Church and the State have prescribed for him to worship. 

2 Compare, in Part I, the passages I. ii. 198-200, II. iii. 19-21, v. 56-9, 
vii. 58-61, III. iii. 236-7, IV. iv. 75-6, V. ii. 390-1, with the darker audacity 
of Part II, III. iv. 52-63, v. 21-2, IV. i, 121-131, V. i. 96-8, iii. 42-5, 
58-60, where the growing madness of Tamburlaine leads to outbursts 
whose violence leaves upon the mind a memory quite other than the 


certainly with the single exception of Theridamas's line ' His 
looks do menace heaven and dare the Gods * ^ all those in 
which Tamburlaine appears not only as an atheist but as 
one who dares * God out of heaven \^ belong there. 

It has been necessary to be thus far explicit in explaining 
the probability of Greene's words pointing, as was long 
assumed, to the second part of the play and not to the first, 
because a contemporary scholar has cast doubt upon this 
interpretation of the reference, in circumstances which must 
be seriously considered. 

In a 1912 number of the Revue Germanique ^ M. Danchin 
drew attention to the remarkable resemblance between the 
' fortification ' passage in the second part of Tamburlaine * 
and certain passages in Paul Ive's Practise of Fortification 
1589,^ putting it beyond reasonable doubt that Marlowe's 
speech was taken almost word for word from the prose 
pamphlet.^ From the relation thus established between 

exhilaration of the earher poetry. Although the more subtle and deadly 
implications of II. i in the second part (especially the ironical lines, 27-41) 
were perhaps beyond the reaches of Greene's wit, the extravagant defiance 
of the later part has a sinister suggestion of deadly earnest which might 
well shock or thrill an audience more impervious to religious emotion than 
that of Marlowe's day. Moreover, the boyish exultation of the earlier 
part is further safeguarded against this suspicion by the wholly satisfactory 
sentiments on Christians which Tamburlaine (surely rather unexpectedly ?) 
utters in III. iii. 47 seq. and his constant references to Jove and the 
spirit world, not as his rivals or equals, but as tutelary deities : I. ii. 177-80, 
III. iii. 156-8, IV. ii. 8-1 1. 

1 Part I, I. ii. 156. 

2 Two arresting passages in this part, besides that already quoted, 
might well have provoked Greene's epithet ; Tamburlaine 's outburst at 
the death of Zenocrate in which he calls upon Theridamas to ' batter the 
shining palace of the sun ' and fetch her back to earth again (II. iv. 102-111) 
and that at the approach of his own death when he frantically calls upon 
his captains to follow him to the ' slaughter of the Gods ' (V. iii. 46-50). 

^ F. C. Danchin, Etudes critiques sur Christophe Marlowe. — En marge 
de la seconde partie de Tamburlaine. Revue Germanique, Janvier-Fevrier, 

* II Tamburlaine, III. ii. 62-90. 

^ The Practise of Fortification : Wherein is shewed the manner of 
fortifying in all sorts of scituations, with the considerations to be used 
in delining, and making of royal Frontiers, Skonces, and renforcing of ould 
walled Townes. Compiled in a most easie, and compendious method, by 
Paule, Ive. Gent. Imprinted at London by Thomas Orwin, for Thomas 
Man, and Toby Cooke. 1589. 

^ For an account of this in its relation to Marlowe's play generally, see 
post, p. 45 and note. 


the two works M. Danchin argues that we must transfer 
the oblique reference of Perimedes in 1588 from Part II 
of Tamburlaine to Part I, to allow of pushing forward the 
writing of Tamburlaine II to a period subsequent to the 
publication of Ive's volume. In the absence of any entry 
of Ive's book in the Stationers' Register (I have been unable 
to trace it there) we could of course only follow the indica- 
tion of the title-page and say generally that this would 
demand a date not earlier than the beginning of 1589 for 
the composition of the second part of our play. The reper- 
cussion of this upon the date of the first part is of fairly 
definite nature, for Marlowe's own prologue, taken in con- 
junction with the internal evidence of the two parts, has 
always been held to imply that the second followed the first 
after a relatively short interval. If we accepted this conclu- 
sion then, we should be forced to push forward both dates 
from 1587-8 to 1588-9. 

M. Danchin has himself pointed out the grounds upon 
which the argument for the earlier date may still be main- 
tained. Marlowe could, of course, have inserted the passage 
in question at a later date and after the appearance of 
Ive's book (though precisely why he should have done so 
is a little hard to see ; it is the kind of passage that is far 
more likely to be excised in the playhouse than added there) 
or he could have seen Paul Ive's book in MS. some time 
before publication. In view of the frequency with which 
Elizabethan MS. were handed about before publication 
this would seem, in the absence of any evidence to the 
contrary, to be an extremely likely contingency. But 
M. Danchin generously places at his opponents' disposal 
some further facts which serve to strengthen the possibility, 
for he shows us that Paul Ive was a Kentishman who 
dedicated his work to Sir Francis Walsingham which might 
mean that he had for some time been connected with the 
Walsingham family,^ with one branch of which, that of 
* See M. Danchin's article, p. 33. 


Thomas Walsingham of Scadbury in Kent, Marlowe is 
known to have been on terms of intimacy.^ Did all these 
suppositions hold, indeed, it would point to Marlowe's 
having every opportunity for seeing the work of Ive before 
it went into print. 

But even were this chain of postulates not provable, 
there would still remain the possibility of Marlowe having 
read the MS. by some other means, and it would be equally 
hard to accept that part of M. Danchin's argument which 
bears upon the date, to reject thereby the strong association 
with Part II, suggested by Greene's reference and to push 
both parts of Tamburlaine on to a date a year later than 
that which has been hitherto accepted.^ 

1 See Vol. I of this series, The Life of Marlowe. 

^ The two main branches of M. Danchin's argument have been touched 
here ; the first that Tamburlaine II has a passage clearly borrowed from 
a book whose title-page beafs the date 1589, the second that Greene's 
reference might equally well apply to the first part as to the second of the 
play. It would, of course, help to undermine the first of these could we 
find the passages in question either in an earlier sixteenth-century military 
text-book or in an earlier edition of Ive's work itself. In strict justice 
I must admit that I have looked in vain through such of the literature in 
question as was available, and am compelled to accept 1589 as the earliest 
date for the publication of Ive's passages on fortification. The second 
side of the argument is, of course, less a matter of fact than of opinion, 
and M. Danchin's comments here seem to me slightly less defensible. 
' D 'autre pas, a notre avis du moins, les Elisabethains ne devaient point 
accuser Tamburlaine d'atheisme pour s'etre raille de Mahomet, d'autant 
mieux qu'a la fin de son apostrophe au Dieu des musulmans, Tambur- 
laine dit a ses soldats d 'adorer " le Dieu qui siege au Ciel " ; " car il est 
seul Dieu et personne que lui n'est Dieu." Enfin, au XVI^ siecle, en 
Angleterre, athee voulait surtout dire non anglican, heterodoxe, et le mot 
s'appliquerait fort bien a de nombreux passages de Tamburlaine /.' It 
might, perhaps, be suggested here that, although the highly suggestive 
passage beginning ' seek out another Godhead to adore ' does indeed follow 
immediately upon the terrible denunciation of Mahomet, it is not the part 
of the speech which leaves the strongest impression upon the mind at a 
first or general reading or hearing. The impression left is that of ' daring ', 
a daring precisely akin to that which sought to ' Batter the shining palace 
of the sun ' or ' Set black streamers on the firmament ' and is without 
precise counterpart in the earlier part. The argument from the Eliza- 
bethan view of atheism is also, I think, double-edged, for it may equally 
be urged that one of the peculiar characteristics of the second part of 
Taw&wr^aweis that the bitter, ironical and almost Lucretian denunciations 
of religion begin there to break through the veils of Mahometan and 
classical theology and myth with which Marlowe had, in the first part, 
screened his expression and to assert themselves with a rancour and a 
vigour which makes it impossible to remain blind to their objective. 




This play is assigned to Marlowe mainly on the evidence 
of its style and thought, supported by three or four facts 
which point more or less directly to his authorship ; his 
name does not appear upon the title-page of any of the 
four extant editions. Critics such as Dyce and Bullen had 
no hesitation in attributing the play to Marlowe, whether 
believing the external evidence to be of value in support- 
ing the testimony of the play itself or dismissing it as 
inconclusive and relying entirely upon aesthetic judgment. 
In point of fact, the evidence from outside sources is some- 
what oblique. The most suggestive of these is Hey wood's 
well-known reference in his Cock-pit prologue to the Jew 
of Malta (1633), where, speaking of the actor AUeyn and of 
Marlowe, he says : 

' But by the best of Poets * in that age *Marlo. 

* The Malta Jew had being, and was made ; 

' And He, then by the best of Actors * play'd : , *Allin. 

' In Hero and Leander, one did gaine 

' A lasting memorie : in Tamherlaine, 

' This Jew, with others many : th' other wan 

' The Attribute of peerelesse, being a man 

' Whom we may ranke with (doing no one wrong) 

' Proteus for shapes, and Roscius for a tongue, 

' So could he speake, so vary ; . . .' 

Controversy has turned upon the question whether * Tam- 
berlaine ' here belongs to the list of Marlowe's achievements 
or to those of Alleyn, which may or may not be here intended 
to be co-extensive. Robinson, the otherwise somewhat un- 
critical editor of the 1826 edition, followed by J. Broughton 
(who finally decided against Marlowe's authorship), were 
the first to point out in print ^ that the punctuation 

1 Malone's MS. note on the same point in his copy of Langbaine's 
Account (endorsed Feb. 25, 181 1) had, of course, preceded these. 


alone decided which way the passage should be inter- 

As Robinson says and as Br ought on agrees, ' the words 
. . . may with equal if not greater propriety, be read in 
this way : 

' In " Hero and Leander " one did gain 
'A lasting memory: in " Tamburlaine," 
'This "Jew", with others many, th' other wan 
'The attribute of peerless.' ^ 

This, of course, would attach the latter part of the state- 
ment strictly to Alleyn, telling us nothing either way about 
Marlowe's authorship of Tamburlaine. 

In support of the conclusion that Marlowe is here intended 
as the author of Tamburlaine there are references or state- 
ments extending to the end of the seventeenth century and 
suggesting a strongly surviving tradition that it was so. It 
is only fair to admit that there are also certain allusions 
which deny this or can be interpreted to point to another 
author, but to an impartial critic they do not rival those 
that associate Marlowe more or less directly with the play. 

Earliest of these comes the oft-quoted reference in Greene's 
epistle ' to the gentlemen readers ' which precedes his 
Perimedes the Blacksmith (1588). This does not, it is true, 
directly declare Marlowe the author of Tamburlaine, but 
the implication is difficult to escape from : 

' I keepe my old course, to palter up some thing in Prose, 
using mine old poesie still, Omne tulit punctum, although 
latelye two Gentlemen Poets, made two mad men of Rome 
beate it out of their paper bucklers : and had it in derision, 
for that I could not make my verses jet upon the stage in 
tragicall buskins, everie worde filling the mouth like the 
Faburden of Bo-Bell, daring God out of heaven with that 

^ See the series of articles on Marlowe in the Gentleman'' s Magazine, 
1830 (especially that in the supplementary issue to June 1830), and his 
MS. notes in his copy of Robinson's edition (now in the British Museum 
Library) . 

2 Broughton, quoting Robinson, Gentleman's Magazine, 1830 (Jan.- 
June, p. 596). 


Atheist Tamhurlan, or blaspheming with the mad preest 
of the Sonne : but let me rather openly pocket up the Asse 
at Diogenes hand : then wantonlye set out such impious 
instances of intollerable poetrie, such mad and scoffing 
poets, that have propheticall spirits as bred of Merlins race, 
if there be anye in England that set the end of scollarisme 
in an English blanck verse, I thinke ... it is the humor 
of a novice that tickles them with selfe-love.' ^ 

To pass to the end of the next century brings us to the 
first two definite statements of Marlowe's authorship, those 
of Anthony Wood and Gerard Langbaine, both of which 
correct specifically the mistake made by Phillips in assign- 
ing it, in his Theatrum Poetarum, to Thomas Newton. Wood 
does not enter the play under Marlowe's name in the Athenae 
Oxonienses (1691), but when he comes to Newton, remarks 
that he * was author, as a certain writer saith, of two 
tragedies, viz. of the first and second parts of Tamerline 
the great Scythian Emperor, but false. For in Tho. Newton's 
time the said two parts were performed by Christop. Mario, 
sometimes a student in Cambridge ; afterwards, first an 
actor on the stage, then, (as Shakespeare, whose contem- 
porary he was) a maker of plays, though inferior both in 
fancy and merit '. * Langbaine is equally clear. In the 
Account of the English Dramatick Poets (1691) he says : 
' I know not how Mr. Philips came to ascribe Tamburlaine 
the Great to this Author (i.e. Newton) ; for tho' Marloe's 
Name be not printed in the Title-page, yet both in Mr. 
Kirkman's and my former Catalogue printed in 1680, his 
Name is prefix'd.' 

Meanwhile, as has been said, within the century after 
Marlowe's death there are a number of allusions that have 
provoked doubt as to the authorship of Tamburlaine and 
at least two definite statements that show profound ignor- 
ance of the play and its author. The earliest of these is 

^ Perimedes the Blacksmith . . . sig. A3-A3V (1588). 
^Ath. Ox. (ed. 1815), Vol. II. col. 7. 


that allusion in the Black Book by T. M., 1604, which led 
Farmer,^ and Malone in accordance with him, to attribute 
the play to Nashe. ' The spindle-shanke Spyders which 
showd like great Leachers with little legges, went stalking 
over his' (Thomas Nashe's) 'head, as if they had bene con- 
ning of Tamhurlayne.' Farmer and Malone both assumed 
that this pointed to Nashe as the author but, as Dyce ^ 
suggested later, the emphasis lies upon the description 
of the stalk of the spider — like that of an actor practising 
the part of Tamburlaine. 

The second seventeenth-century allusion that seems to 
point to another author, apparently led so serious a scholar 
as Malone to a fantastic attribution of the play, this time 
to Nicholas Breton.^ It occurs in Sir John Suckling's The 
Goblins (Act IV, Sc. i.) and is part of a conversation between 
a poet and the band of thieves who have carried him off. 
In reply to a question from the poet as to whether Mendoza 
or Spenser is to be found there, the thief replies : 

' No, none of these : 
' They are by themselves in some other place ; 
' But here's he that writ Tamerlane. 
Poet. ' I beseech you bring me to him, 
* There's something in his Scene 
' Betwixt the Empresses a little high and clowdie, 
' I would resolve my selfe. 

1 Th. ' You shall Sir. 

' Let me see — the Author of the hold Beauchams, 
' And England s Joy. 
Poet. ' The last was a well writ piece, I assure you, 
' A Brittane I take it ; and Shakespeares very way : 
' I desire to see the man.' 

^ See MS. note by Malone in his copy of Langbaine's Account (p. 344), in 
the Bodleian. 

2 The Works of Christopher Marlowe, 1858, p. xv. 

^ ' Langbaine's assertion that Haywood attributes Tamburlaine to 
Marlowe in his prologue to the " Jew of Malta " is founded in a mistake and 
a false punctuation. Hey wood only asserts that Alley n was famous in 
the part of Tamburlaine, not that Marlowe wrote the play. Tamburlaine, 
I now believe, was written by Nich. Breton, the author of the " Three 
Bold Beauchamps " and " England's Joy." ' MS. note Feb. 28, 181 1, in 
Malone 's ' Langbaine '. 


At first glance this might seem to suggest that one author 
is referred to in both of the speeches of the thief, but it is 
even more likely that he breaks off from his discussion of 
one item on his list to pass on to mention the next. 

One downright error, which there is no mistaking, is that 
of Edward Phillips, already referred to in connection with 
Wood's and Langbaine's testimony, by which the play 
Tamburlaine is entered under the name of Th. Newton : 
' Thomas Newton, the Author of three Tragedies ; Thebais, 
the first and second parts of Tamerlane, the Great Scythian 
Emperour.' ^ 

Equally eloquent of the ignorance or indifference to the 
authorship of this play in the Restoration period is the 
profession of C. Saunders when, in 1681, he published his 
own Tamerlane the Great, that he never met any other play 
by that name though he had indeed been told ' there is a 
Cock-Pit Play, going under the name of the Scythian Shep- 
herd or Tamherlain the Great, which how good it is, anyone 
may Judge by its obscurity, being a thing, not a Bookseller 
in London, or scarce the Players themselves, who Acted it 
formerly, cou'd call to Remembrance, so far, that I believe 
that whoever was the Author, he might e'en keep it to himself 
secure from invasion, or Plagiary '.^ 

But in the eighteenth century a revival of Marlowe 
scholarship began and the sound tradition of Wood and 
Langbaine touching the authorship of Tamburlaine prevailed. 
Bishop Tanner, writing in 1745,^ lists Tamburlaine among 
Marlowe's plays, and the end of the century and opening 
years of the next saw it so included in the majority of 
literary histories.* Lamb's Specimens in 1808 similarly 

^ Theairum Poetarum, 1675 {The Modern Poets, p. 182). 

2 Tamerlane the Great. A Tragedy. As it is Acted by their Majesties 
Servants at the Theatre Royal. By C. Sa.unders, Gent. London, 1681 
(Preface, sig. ay.) 

^ Bihliotheca Britannico-Hibernica : sive de Scriptoribus, qui in Anglia, 
Scotia et Hibernia ad scbcuU xvii. initium floruerunt. . . . Auctore . . . 
Thoma Tannero . . . MDCCXLVIII, p. 512. 

* This period includes the researches of Ritson, Reed, Steevens, Malone, 
Broughton, Collier, Fleay and Hallam, and the critical commentaries of 
Hazlitt, Lamb and Leigh Hunt. 


heralded a long series of editions of Marlowe's works, all of 
which accepted Tamburlaine} 

It will be observed, then, that the evidence for Marlowe's 
authorship rests on a strong though intermittently expressed 
tradition taken in conjunction with one interpretation of 
Heywood's reference and, it may be added, with the fact 
that both parts of the play were produced by the Admiral's 
Company, with which Marlowe is known to have been 
associated. No other author is consistently indicated even 
by the apparent evidence to the contrary and there is no 
early tradition in favour of any other. The only doubts 
of any moment are those raised in the minds of Broughton, 
Farmer and Malone by what are now regarded as mis- 
interpretations of a few passages. No critic of sound judg- 
ment, from the time of Dyce onwards, has seriously doubted 
Marlowe's authorship, though none have been able to express 
their belief in terms of categorical proof. It is enough that 
the play contains the quintessence of Marlowe's early poetry 
and the germ of his later thought. 

In the first section of his monograph on The Reputation of 
Christopher Marlowe (1922), to which the preceding section 
is much indebted. Professor Brooke has enumerated some 
fifty or more early references to Tamburlaine.^ Numerous 
as they are up to the time of the closing of the theatres, 
they unfortunately never afford a clue to the authorship, 
in fact, as the author says, ' none appears to be extant 
which proves with absolute certainty that the speaker 
knew who wrote the play '. These references demonstrate 
the wide and long-continued popularity or notoriety of the 
play and reveal in detail the fluctuations of opinion from 
century to century,^ while the evidence which has been 

1 For a list of these, see Appendix B. 

^ The monograph covers the whole period of Marlowe criticism and 
allusion, from contemporary references to the main contributions of 
twentieth-century scholarship up to the date of publication. 

^ The pre-Commonwealth writers whose allusions to Tamburlaine are 
here quoted or mentioned total more than two dozen . The names include 
those of Greene, Nashe, Peele, Lodge, Dekker, Hall, Rowlands, Drayton, 
Jonson, Marston, Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, Ford, Day, 


adduced for or against Marlowe's authorship is set forth 
clearly in the same author's Marlowe Canon, pp. 386-390 



There is a peculiar fascination in attempting to trace 
Marlowe's study of the great Mongolian Khan Timur, for 
he drew upon sources which were themselves eked out with 
rumours and presented a picture as remote from the original 
as Marlowe's own, by its imaginative insight, was removed 
again from theirs. The modern student of the life of Timiir 
finds, not unnaturally, that the farther east he goes in 
search of records, the more reliable the records tend to 
become and that the later the date of a publication, the 
farther east it is likely, on the whole, to carry him.^ For 
the eastern sources of information were slow in reaching 
Europe ; none, with the exception of the Turkish material 
drawn upon by Leunclavius and the French version of the 
histories of Haytoun the Armenian, were translated into 
European tongues before the year 1600, ^ and the relatively 
reliable writings of the three fifteenth-century Byzantine 
historians, Ducas, Phrantzes and Chalcondylas,^ seem not 
to have been used by most of those who had purveyed the 
story to north-west Europe by the year 1587-8. Equally 

Chettle, Heywood, Massinger, Habington, Stirling, Cooke, Sharpham, 
Harvey, Taylor, Brathwaite, Suckling and Cowley. In the majority of 
these allusions the name ' Tamburlaine ' appears, in others the reference 
is unmistakable. 

^ The main eastern sources for the life of Timur began to be available 
in European tongues about the middle of the seventeenth century. For 
these and for the works of the other writers mentioned in this section, 
see Appendix E.IV. 

2 The claim of Jean de Bee that he translated his Histoire du Grand 
Empereur Tamerlanes (1595) from •' des Monumens antiques des Arabes ' 
has long been discredited, or, at best, questioned. 

* And this in spite of the fact that Chalcondy las 's Greek manuscript was 
translated into Latin and published in 1556 : Laonici Chalcocondylae 
Atheniensis, de origine et rebus gestis Turcorum Lihri Decern, etc. Basle, 



disregarded were, apparently, the Latin memoirs of the 
travellers Carpini and Rubruquis, the Spanish report of 
Clavijo and the German narrative of Schiltberger.^ All 
that were easily available were a large number of recensions 
in Latin or Italian by Italian historians (some translated 
into English), the similar Spanish summary of Pedro Mexia, 
to which may be added the translation from Turkish sources 
by Gaudius, used, as has already been mentioned, by 
Leunclavius, and the French translation of Haytoun's 
work, all but the last two begetting in their turn a series 
of descendants. 

It seems unlikely, therefore, that Marlowe would have 
read some of the accounts which modern scholars value 
most highly, such as (to instance the most notable) the 
report of the embassy of Gonzalez de Clavijo to the court 
of Timur in 1403-4 or of Schiltberger's service under Bajazet 
and Timur from 1396 to 1405. We do not find in the pages 
of Marlowe's play the portrait of the Mongolian conqueror 
which we can now draw from contemporary, or nearly 
contemporary testimony, though that curious penetration 
into the reality behind the written word, which distinguishes 
Marlowe's avid search for knowledge, sometimes leads him 
into felicity of interpretation startling to the modern scholar 
who knows how misleading were most of his sources. The 
likeness and the unlikeness, then, of these two figures, of 
Timiir Khan and Marlowe's Tamburlaine, lays an irresis- 
tible problem before us : how was this other glittering 
figure, so unlike in all detail, so like in a few essential 
qualities of the spirit, derived from the Mongolian despot ? 
By what means did the story reach Marlowe and by what 
process of reduction and perversion did chance select the 
group of facts which, transmuted, form the basis of this 
play ? It is well to look first at the original Timiir. 

The Historical Timiir. Timur Khan (1336-1405) belonged 
by race to the group of western Tartars who fell apart 

1 See Appendix E.IV, under Carpini, Rubruquis, etc. 


from the main body when the great Empire founded by 
Jenghiz and brought to its full flower by Kublai dis- 
integrated after his death. Timur seems to have possessed 
some of the qualities of both the great Khans of the earlier 
empire, the ferocity, tenacity, courage and military genius 
of Jenghiz, the love of splendour and the capacity for 
government in time of peace which were a part, though 
only a part, of the noble and gracious character of Kublai. 
After a youth of struggles with rival leaders and Mongolian 
tribes in the neighbourhood of Samarqand, he had, by the 
year 1369, consolidated a kingdom for himself in the territory 
east of the Caspian Sea. With this as a base he proceeded 
to the conquest of northern India and thence to that of 
Anatolia (roughly the modern Asia Minor) and Persia. 
In the year 1402 he met and overthrew Bajazet, the head 
of the Turkish Empire, at Ancora in Bithynia and was 
proceeding against the southern Chinese Empire when he 
died in 1405. His character, as it is revealed by the Arab, 
Persian and Syrian historians and by the records of Clavijo 
and Schiltberger, was a strange mixture of oriental pro- 
fusion and subtlety with barbarian crudity. 

He inherited, as a member of a military caste, the tradition 
of the great line of Tartar Khans, with their genius for 
tactics and military discipline. This capacity was developed 
throughout his youth and middle-age by the incessant 
wars with western and central Asiatic tribes by which he 
fought his way to sovereignty. He had courage and tenacity 
unsurpassed even among Mongols and the power of binding 
to him, by his generosity, his severe yet even justice and 
his charm, the men of highest ability whom his watchful 
and sympathetic judgment unfailingly discerned. National 
temperament and the hard battle of the first half of his 
life combined to make him ruthless. He slaughtered, where 
necessary, in cold blood and upon a scale horrifying to 
western notions. Yet his empire, when it was established, 
was orderly and peaceful ; roads, bridges, communications 


were in perfect order ; justice was fairly administered, 
probably in fear and trembling, by his magistrates ; learning 
was reverenced and encouraged ; religious toleration was 
extended to all forms of monotheism ; art and trade grew 
and developed. Samarqand, to which were transported the 
finest craftsmen and the greatest sages from the conquered 
cities of Asia, grew prosperous too in its own right by virtue 
of his organization. All that it is possible to imagine 
achieved by one man he achieved ; he failed only to give 
to his Empire the stability derived from slow growth and 
to provide for himself a worthy successor ; two things 
beyond even the might of Jenghiz or of Kublai. 

The picture of his capital, Samarqand, in Clavijo's narra- 
tive, equals in its colour and beauty Marco Polo's earlier 
pictures of the Court of Kublai ; a city with fair and 
open streets, rich with trade and crafts, lying in a fertile 
land from which waggons of wheat and barley and fruit, 
horses and herds of fat -tailed sheep poured daily in ; with 
far-stretching suburbs of houses and palaces surrounded 
by orchards and gardens and, far out into the plain, the 
villages and settlements of the captives of war that he had 
gathered from every nation he had subdued. The gates 
of the palaces were glorious with blue and golden enamel, 
the hangings of woven silk, gold-embroidered and decorated 
with jewelled plaques and silk tassels ; the tents, in which 
the Tartars still for the greater part lived, were of richly 
coloured silks fur-lined ; huge erections three lances high 
that looked from a distance like the castles of Europe. 
Merchants from all lands poured in to this city with leather 
and fur from Russia, with the matchless silks of China, 
with rubies from the north ; the perfumes of India scented 
its streets. Such splendour was there, says Clavijo, as could 
not have been seen in Cairo itself. From every land that 
he had conquered Timiir had brought the masters of its most 
famous crafts, all to the enriching of this city of Samarqand, 
the treasury of the eastern world. And in the midst of this 


sat the old, blind Khan, dressed in his Chinese silks and his 
jewels, leaning upon his mattresses of karcob, cloth of gold, 
attended by his nine wives in fantastic magnificence of 
costume that beggars description ; drinking from morning 
till sundown and often till the next morning cosmos or 
soured mare's milk, and the wine which was the test of 
Tartar manhood ; eating roasted horse- and sheep-flesh 
dragged into the presence in huge leather troughs to be 
distributed there into golden vessels incrusted with jewels ; 
rousing himself to issue some merciless autocratic command 
or deliver a deserved death sentence, to greet his ambassadors 
with the patronizing magnificence of a child or to rebuke 
them with the insolence of a megalomaniac, scanning greedily 
the while the ambassadorial gifts to which he pretended a 
supreme indifference ; matching his wits against the for- 
eigners and the few of his own people who dared encounter 
him. Such was the man who had dared everything possible 
to his imagination and had never faltered ; who had en- 
dured desert and mountain warfare, victory and defeat, 
from boyhood to the age of seventy years ; who had raised 
up this golden city in Tartary and had stripped the ancient 
cities of Persia and Anatolia ; who had slaughtered a million 
people in Baghdad and built their heads into a pyramid 
for his own memorial, yet had spared the libraries, mosques 
and hospitals there and sent its scholars in custody to 
Samarqand. Such was ' the sweet fruition of an earthly 
crown ' upon the brows of the great Khan Timur. But 
through Clavijo's narrative we see an old age autocratic 
rather than degenerate and catch glimpses of the youth 
that lay behind, when, as became a conqueror of true 
Mongol breed, he had combined ferocious and tenacious 
courage with quick, impenetrable, subtle wits, so that he 
passed over the face of Asia like a consuming fire or a 
whirlwind, driven by fanatical lust for dominion, leaving 
behind him desolation and wilderness where had been 
fertile plains and ancient civilizations deep-rooted in their 


hitherto impregnable cities. To his later and alien historians 
he is a scourge and an abomination, yet even they pause 
perforce in their denunciations to pay half-unconscious and 
unwilling homage to the distant image of that flaming will 
and illimitable aspiration. 

It is hard for us to-day, even with the inheritance of 
three centuries of dominion in the east, to understand the 
strange balance of heroic virtues and savagery, of ungoverned 
passions and supreme military discipline, of opulence and 
austerity, of cruelty and the love^,Oii„art and philosophjL, 
,jffihich made up the temperament of Timur and in less degree 
of his Tartar nobles. It was harder for the Englishman of 
the sixteenth century who, though his knowledge of the 
near east seems in general to have surpassed ours, had far 
less opportunity of studying even at second hand the 
characters and customs of any of the races of central Asia. 
It was not easy even for the Latin peoples of that time, 
with their close trade relations with the Levant and with 
western Asia to assess this new, raw civilization that had 
sprung up in the plains of western Tartary on the ruins 
of the empire of Kublai. Alone the Byzantines and those 
few chroniclers who worked in close contact with the Turkish 
empire or had penetrated beyond the Caspian Sea had the 
necessary background of general knowledge. The story as 
it comes west takes on a western interpretation ; motives, 
customs, speech and processes of the mind are all inevit- 
ably translated into a western form and made the subject 
of reflexions and deductions prompted by Christian habits 
of thought. Marco Polo, Carpini, Rubruquis, Clavijo and 
Schiltberger, the men who had crossed the eastern borders 
and testified either admiringly or in censure to the world 
that lay behind the Caspian mountains, seem to have 
dropped out of account with the serious historians in the 
passing of a century or more ^ and the western world, more 

1 Here again, partial exception must be made in the case of Haytoun, 
the Armenian traveller, whose history of the eastern kingdoms found its 


interested in 1580 in the immediate doings of the Turks 
and in near-eastern poUtics, was content to receive the 
story of the Mongols from universal or general histories, 
themselves derived from rumour, from conjecture and from 
reports at second and at third hand. 

The Byzantine Accounts of Timur. The earliest historical 
accounts of the career of Timur which could have in- 
fluenced, even indirectly, the opinions of Englishmen of 
the sixteenth century, are those of the Byzantines, Ducas, 
Phrantzes and Chalcondylas, and the first two remained 
relatively inaccessible in Greek manuscripts until the seven- 
teenth century ; if the Italian historians were indebted to 
them, the debt is not conspicuous. All three are primarily 
concerned with the fate of Constantinople, and the supreme 
event of the opening years of the fifteenth century is the 
aversion of Bajazet's siege of that city by Timur 's attack 
upon him. But all three find time for voluminous com- 
ments upon subordinate events, customs and persons, and 
Chalcondylas turns from his narrative to give a long account 
of the early life of Timur. Their outlook, however, is 
Byzantine ; there is little to choose between the tyranny 
of Bajazet and the tyranny of Timur ; ^ the clash between 
the two Asiatic powers was a happy effect of Providence 
that preserved Constantinople from the Moslem rule for 
another fifty years. Phrantzes tells us that Timiir spared 
his fellow Mahometans after the battle of Ancora,^ Ducas 
that he treated Bajazet with courtesy and relative con- 
siderateness.^ All agree as to the courage of Bajazet,* 

way into French about the year 1501. Marlowe's acquaintance with this 
volume seems, however, to have been exceptional and Haytoun's account 
is not drawn upon by the European historians. 

1 This is confirmed by Schiltberger's account in which also there is 
little to choose between the methods of his two masters; Bajazet's 
slaughter of the prisoners at Nicopolis rivalling Timur 's similar feats. 

2 As do also the more favourable of the eastern biographies of Timur. 

3 This agrees with the version of Kwand Amir in the H aheeh-us- Siyar . 

* This, again, the eastern biographers admit without question. Ba- 
jazet loses much of his dignity in the hands of the European historians, 
but it is Marlowe himself who, to enhance the glory of Tamburlaine, 
first strips him of his valour. 


but Phrantzes and Chalcondylas emphasize the royalty of 
his nature and his proud repudiation of Timur the shepherd, 
even while a prisoner in the Scythian camp. Phrantzes* 
record of the dialogue is poignant ; his sympathy is, perhaps 
strangely, with the Turkish emperor whose spirit is un- 
bowed by calamity being ' Descended of so many royal 
kings' : ''Olda xaXcog^ dia ro sivai oe aygoixov ZxvOrjv xal ei 
aarifjiov ysvovg, on at ^aaiXixal jtOQaaxeval ovx dgsaoval goi^ 
Slot I ovdenors ravra etiqetiov gov iyoj yag (hg vidg rov 
^Ajuovgdrrj xal syyovog rov ^Oqxdvov nal diGsyyovog rov 
'OrOjudvov Hal rqiGeyyovog rov ^ EgroygovXr}^ xat ravra xal 
nXeiova jiqstzov juoI sGn noieiv xal exeiv.^ ^ The words of 
Ducas have most feeling when he speaks of the waste and 
desolation that lay behind the Scythian armies : ' 'E^£q%o- 
[xevov Se djto noXeoyg eig nohv djiievai, rrjv KaTaXeXeifjiiJiEvrjV elg 
roGov dfpiEGav sQr]iuov, on ovrs Kvvog vlayr] ro naqdjiav rjxovEro^ 
ovSe OQVidog rjjUEQOv xoxxvG/udg^ ovdi: naidiov xXavd [avqig fiogJ ^ 
But it is Chalcondylas who spends most time upon the story 
of Timur's career, who devotes the whole of the third book 
of his history to the life of Timur and who gives us, at 
the close of the second book, a picture of Timur's relations 
with his wife and his respect and affection for her.^ Accord- 
ing to Chalcondylas, the only one of the Byzantines with 
whom there is any reason for thinking Marlowe was 
acquainted, Timur was of low birth, grew to be a robber 

1 It is Phrantzes, incidentally, who is responsible for the story of Baja- 
zet's imprisonment in the iron cage, that story which laid so fast a hold 
upon the imaginations of the European historians. The growth of this 
episode in the later versions is a striking example of the effect of ignorance 
of Tartar life upon the growth of the Timur saga. Nothing was more 
natural than that a prisoner (who had already tried to escape) should be 
confined, during the long waggon treks of the Tartar army, in some kind 
of litter. It is even suggested that Phrantzes has misunderstood the 
Turkish word ' kafes ' (which may mean a litter or a cage) and has set on 
foot an entirely mythological episode. For a full discussion of the legend 
and its origins, see J. v. Hammer-Purgstall : Geschichte des Osmanischen 
Reiches, Vol. I (Bk. VIIL), pp. 317-23. 

2 The eastern authorities, even the hostile Arabshah, seem to accept 
the consequences of Timur's career without comment and without regret. 

^ Jean du Bee also emphasizes this relationship ; but it is difficult to 
say from what source his material is derived. The authentic oriental 
sources all either emphasize or imply it. 


(his lameness was the result of an accident during a robbery) 
and was an unscrupulous, fraudulent barbarian who sacked 
and pillaged until at last the King of the Massegetes made 
him general of his forces. In his name, Timur besieged 
Babylon and at his death took possession of the kingdom, 
stormed Samarqand, and invaded Hyrcania, Arabia and 
other districts, fighting the while from time to time with 
other Tartar tribes.^ Chalcondylas has some sound know- 
ledge of Tartar life and customs and the short passage he 
introduces on their food, clothes, arms and military tactics 
tallies precisely with the accounts of Clavijo. Needless to 
say his material was hardly ever reproduced in detail by 
the later European historians. Timiir, he goes on to tell us, 
besieged Damascus and took it with a siege engine, marched 
upon Bajazet outside Constantinople, sacking Sebastia upon 
the way and turning his cavalry upon the women and chil- 
dren to massacre them.^ Bajazet met him at Angora in 
Phrygia {Ovyxqa) with a much smaller army that was 
exhausted by forced marches ; he was defeated and taken 
prisoner, as was also his wife, the daughter of Eleazar, Prince 
of the Bulgars, and his sons. Bajazet, after an interesting 
dialogue in which his princely indignation outran a due sense 
of his situation, was sent in chains round the camp and so 
to prison, while his wife was forced to wait upon the Scythian 
leaders at supper.^ Timur took Bajazet with him on his 
Indian campaign which followed immediately and Bajazet 

1 This is approximately the version of Arabshah, but the eastern sources 
generally call him the son of a king or Tartar noble and of the house of 
Jenghiz. Their versions of his expeditions, sieges and wars generally 
agree with these, though they are more detailed and numerous. The 
order of his conquests varies, too, even from one eastern source to another. 

2 This episode, which appears in a specialized form in the Italian his- 
torians, and finds its place in Marlowe's account of the fate of the virgins 
of Damascus, has a counterpart in Arabshah 's description of the taking 
of Ispahan. It is confirmed by Schiltberger's description of the destruc- 
tion of the children of Ispahan by the same method. It seems in the highest 
degree improbable that Schiltberger, a man who had been a slave most 
of his life, and was apparently illiterate, could have known the account 
of his contemporary, Chalcondylas. 

3 For the later versions of this part of the story and their relations to 
Chalcondylas 's account, see Appendix D.3 (and notes). 


died on the way.^ In his later years Timur fell into debauch- 
ery and luxury ^ and his empire, utterly unconsolidated, 
melted away after his death. 

It is easy to see in this the germ of the story which reached 
Marlowe mainly through Perondinus, Pedro Mexia, Primau- 
daye and Bizarus (though it suffered many changes by the 
way). In the Byzantine versions of the tale the figure of 
Timur is still that of a Tartar Khan, though, as they are 
mainly concerned with his career from the sixty-fifth year 
of his life, he is a man educated by action and experience, 
civilized by a lifetime of responsibility and unremitting 
activity of mind. When we leave the Byzantines we leave 
the last of his western historians capable of interpreting 
him in terms of Tartar thought and life ; henceforth in 
Europe, he is either portrayed as a monster or forcibly 
explained in terms of European characteristics and traditions. 

Early Sixteenth-Century European Accounts. In the six- 
teenth century the career of Timur was summarized in a 
large number of universal histories, geographies or collec- 
tions of tales and reflections, all of which tend to reproduce 
each other and to present a similar nucleus of mingled fact 
and fiction, borrowing little from the contemporary travellers 
already referred to and not much more from the Byzantines 
except that irreducible minimum of fact which persists 
through all the sources. Oriental and European. To name 
all of these would be tedious ; among the chief writers 
before Pedro Mexia are Mathias Palmerius (Palmieri), the 
Florentine historian who continued the Chronicon of Eusebius 
down to 1449,^ Bartholomaeus Sacchi de Platina, the Vatican 
Librarian in whose life of Pope Boniface IX there is an 
account of Timiir, Baptist e Fulgosi (Fregoso) the Genoese, 

1 Ducas reports a rumour that Bajazet poisoned himself (Migne, p. 
847) and Phrantzes says that he was killed after eight months' imprison- 

2 Chalcondylas seems to be the only early historian who dwells upon 
this, though Haytoun, Leunclavius and Podesta all present Turkish 
modifications of the same report. 

3 See Appendix E for fuller references to this and the following works. 


in whose De Dictis Factisque memorabilia (1518), both Timur 
and the Scythians in general find a place, Andrea Cambinus, 
the Florentine, whose Lihro . . . delta origine de Turchi 
(1529) was represented for Englishmen by John Shute's 
translation of 1562, Pope Pius II in whose Asiae Europaeque 
Elegantissima descriptio (1534) the story is summed up in 
one of its most representative forms ; Johann Cuspinian's 
De TwcoYum Origine (1541) and Paulo Giovio's Commentarii 
delle cose de Turchi (1591), translated into English by Peter 
Ashton in 1546, conclude the list. 

An exception must be made in the case of one work, the 
report of the travels of Haytoun the Armenian which was 
published in a French translation about 1501 under the title 
Les fleurs des hystoires de la terre Dorient, etc.^ The version 
of Timur's career and personality included in these histories 
(Part V. chap, vii.) was not absorbed into the main stream 
of recension and compilation, but it is possible that Marlowe 
had read it or become in some way acquainted with its 
contents,^ though in the main structure of his story he 
followed the mid-sixteenth- century European accounts. 
Haytoun's Timur is an Oriental and his career is more nearly 
that of the eastern biographers than any other European 
account until we reach Leunclavius (whom it is unlikely 
that Marlowe had the chance of studying before he wrote 
his play). He tells us that Timur's early wars were against 
other Tartar tribes in central Asia ; he quotes examples of 
his cunning and his astuteness in outwitting his powerful 
adversaries that recall the character Arabshah gives the 
Tartar leader ; most notable of all, he reveals in Timur 
that blending of sensualism and cruelty with military genius, 
religious fervour, courtesy to his friends and strangers and 
love of beautiful craftsmanship, which only a man who had 
some knowledge of Oriental character could have produced. 

^ See Appendix E. 

2 1 am indebted to Miss Seaton for first drawing my attention to the 
possible relationship of Tamhurlaine and Haytoun 's histories. See also 
her 2LXt\Q\Q Fresh Sources for Marlowe {Review of English Studies, Oct. 1929), 


The other writers of the first half of the century content 
themselves with reporting the main episodes of what became 
the accepted version of Timur's career. 

But each adds something to the saga, with the possible 
exception of Platina. Palmieri tells us that Tamburlaine, 
having taken Bajazet captive, led him with him on his 
travels, bound with golden chains. The golden chains — 
that somewhat pointless and surely inefficient accessory — 
were adopted by Cuspinian and by Giovio, passing on to the 
later Granucci, Ashton and Newton ; Marlowe disdained 
them. Fregoso seems to have either tapped fresh sources 
or to have had a lively imagination. He describes Tambur- 
laine as a Scythian shepherd who gathered together his 
fellow-shepherds, making them swear to follow him as their 
leader wherever he went. They accepted this as a jest, 
but he, turning jest to earnest, set forth upon a career of 
kingship.^ The Persian king, hearing of his activities, sent 
a leader with i,ooo horse against him, who was won over 
by the persuasions of the Scythian and joined with him.^ 
A quarrel arose between the king of Persia and his brother 
in which Tamburlaine intervened, as he does in Marlowe's 
play, first to set the usurper on the throne, then, after he 
had himself been made general of the army, to dethrone 
the second king and seize the crown of Persia. 

Cambinus adds to this growing saga one or two highly 
coloured details. According to him, Tamburlaine not 
only led Bajazet about in chains (the material is not 
specified) wherever he went, but had him tied under the 
table at meals like a dog and used him as a horse-block 
' faciendoselo inclinare davanti lo usava in luogo di scanno '. 

1 This version of his first attempt at leadership is followed by Mexia, 
Perondinus and Primaudaye, as, indeed, is much of Fregoso's narrative. 
There is a trace of it in one of the episodes described by Arabshah and in 
Haytoun's account, but not in the other Eastern accounts. 

2 This story, taken over by Marlowe, is reproduced by Mexia, Perondinus, 
Primaudaye and Bizarus as are also the following events which led to Tam- 
burlaine's possession of the Persian throne. Marlowe could have drawn 
them from any of the five authors. 


Both the dog and the horse-block, though unknown to 
Oriental authorities, were eagerly seized upon, the first by 
Cuspinian, Mexia, Perondinus and Ashton, who added them 
in a marginal note to his translation of Giovio, the second 
by Cuspinian, Mexia, Perondinus, Ashton again, Curio and 
Granucci. Marlowe was unfortunately swept into this tide 
of witnesses. It is Cambinus, too, who reports the mar- 
vellous siege engine with which Tamburlaine took Damascus, 
the story of the trick he played to obtain the wealth of the 
town of Capha, the three tents, white, red and black, which 
revealed to a beleaguered city the mood of the Tartar con- 
queror, the story (seldom or never after this omitted) of the 
city which disregarded the warning of the tents and, on 
the fatal third day, sent out the women and children in 
white clothing with olive branches to plead for mercy. 
(Their fate was precisely that of the Damascan virgins in 
Marlowe's play and seems, if Schiltberger is to be trusted, 
to have a germ of historical truth. )^ Almost equally popular 
is Cambinus's story of the friend of Tamburlaine '(often 
this is a Genoese merchant) who dared to rebuke him for 
this brutality, to whom Tamburlaine replied with burning 
eyes that he was the wrath of God and punishment of the 
world, after which, says Fortescue, ' This merchuant . . . 
sodenly retired.' ^ 

Pope Pius II reproduced this version, on the whole with 
remarkable fidelity. But he did one notable service to 
later romancers by telling us that Tamburlaine kept Bajazet 
in an iron cage. Whether this was drawn from his own 
imagination or from a knowledge of Phrantzes' account, it 
was instantly adopted by succeeding historians. The 
material may or may not be described, but the cage is 

Cuspinian adds nothing of his own (he adopts of course 

^ See previous note, p. 25. 

"^ For Fortescue's account of this episode, see Appendix C. 

^ See, for a full discussion of this myth and its development, J. von 
Hammer- Purgstall : Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches (Pesth. 1827), 
Vol. I, Book VIII. 


the dog, the horse-block and the cage) and Giovio does Httle 
mote. Thus, by the year before Mexia's book was written, 
the Tamburlaine myth had drawn to itself so many strange 
accretions as to be hardly germane to the versions of 
Timur's contemporaries in Asia and not closely akin even 
to those of the Byzantines. 

Pedro Mexia. Pedro Mexia was a Sevillian and student 
of Salamanca, a mathematician, cosmographer and his- 
torian. His Silva de varia lection, first published in 1542, 
is a characteristic collection of narrations and reflexions 
upon history, geography and civilization, dear to the hearts 
of his European contemporaries. The twenty-eighth 
chapter of the second book is a leisurely story of some 
length, gathering together nearly all the deeds or experi- 
ences attributed to Tamburlaine by the Italian historians. 
Indeed, of the episodes that have already been described, 
none are omitted by Mexia except those peculiar to the 
Byzantines and the taking of the town of Capha. As is 
perhaps inevitable from such promiscuous gleaning as this, 
the result is hardly homogeneous. Mexia carefully enumer- 
ates Tamburlaine's characteristics, but he never succeeds in 
giving him a character. His different sources refuse to 
mingle and make him contradict himself. His imagination 
is stirred by the greatness of Tamburlaine and not a little 
moved by the strange oblivion which has overtaken that 
greatness ; he dwells on his courage, his valour, his passion 
and his dreams of conquest. Yet in a little while he de- 
scribes the murder of the women and children sent out from 
the besieged city, the frivolous brutality of Tamburlaine's 
treatment of Bajazet, and he can only shake his head and 
suppose him the scourge of God sent for the punishment of 
the world. But if the figure that Mexia thus puts together 
with painful joinery is discontinuous and unreal, the story 
has yet a certain coherence. To Mexia it is but a series 
of appeals to reflexion upon the vicissitudes of life and 
the mutability of fortune : 


' Upon thy glade day have in thy minde 
The unwar wo or harm that comth bihinde.' 

He is ever at our elbow ready with a gentle reminder that 
the sad fate of Bajazet and the oblivion settling upon 
Timur's name should put us upon thinking how transitory 
and unreal are these triumphs of the world. * Cierto es 
grande documento y exemplo para tener en poco los 
grandes poderes y mandos deste mundo. pues aunReytan 
grande, tan temido . . . y obedescido de todos, y a la noche 
se viesseesclavo. . . .' ^ This rings true ; it is Mexia's own 
interpretation of the tale ; not in Tartary, not in Anatolia, 
but in that half-Christian Europe where the mind turns 
now to this world, now to the next, where the falls of 
princes leave an echo strange and sad, yet stirring wonder 
and deep surmise : ' A king so great, so feared . . . and 
that night a slave.' ^ 

Petrus Perondinus. The next version of the story of 
Tamburlaine which has considerable importance is that 
of Petrus Perondinus, the Magni Tamerlanis Scythiarum 
Imperatoris Vita published at Florence in 1553. This 
must have offered Marlowe what Mexia's story lacked, a 
clear and consistent picture of the central figure. From 
the pages of Perondinus's packed and pregnant Latin, the 
figure of Tamburlaine emerges insatiable, irresistible, ruth- 
less, destructive, but instinct with power. There is no 
need for Perondinus to assure us how great he would appear 
if only we had the records of his life faithfully laid up ; he 
touches, apparently, some sources unknown to Mexia,^ but 
by virtue of his own power of fusing them together, rather 
than by virtue of their guidance, he has drawn an unfor- 
gettable picture of the conqueror ' thirsting with sovereignty 
and love of arms ' (insatiabili siti), pushing north to the 
uttermost confines of ice and snow, ' ultra Imaum perpetuis 

^ Ed. 1550. Fol. Ixxviii verso. 

2 This has the very note of a later Enghsh historian, Sir Walter Ralegh 
the friend of Marlowe. (See note to I. IV. ii. i.) 
^ See note to I. II. i. 27-8. 


fere nivibus object! \^ and south to the sweltering plains of 
Babylon, where he left desolation and burning for the 
ancient Persian glory ; unchecked by obstacles, untouched 
by pity, led by fortunate stars and confident in their leading. 
Even the foolish embroidery which the chroniclers had 
added to the tale of Bajazet is included without staying 
the effect ; it is no more than a casual and grim relaxation 
of this Scourge of the world, himself scourged by his 
insatiable lust for dominion. And a darker tone is given 
to his character even in its mirth than the earlier Italian 
writers had dreamed, by his treatment of the captive Turkish 
Empress, the final misery that drove Bajazet to suicide. 
The impression left by Perondinus is a clear one. He was 
concerned mainly, as was Marlowe after him, with the 
mind of the Tartar Khan, with his passions and his merciless 
desire, inexplicable though they often seem. For this 
reason Perondinus's life is the first account of Tamburlaine 
since those of the Byzantine chroniclers which has dignity and 
impressiveness and is hard to lay down. And beneath it all, 
by some strange mutation of the imagination such as Marlowe 
himself might have appreciated, he perceives only a bar- 
barian of genius, a barbarian with no traditions to build 
upon, who ravages, burns, pillages and destroys and then, 
unable to rest, can conceive of nothing but more destruc- 
tion, or, at best, the retreat of a robber with his spoil into 
his fastness of Samarqand. Perondinus follows the trail 
of destruction unsparingly yet with a solemn evenness of 
tone that is the more impressive for the absence of those 
comments that gave Mexia's work its air of meditative, 
pious resignation. 

Later Sixteenth-Century Accounts of Tamburlaine. Of the 
later versions of the life of Tamburlaine, of those, that is, 
written after Mexia and before Marlowe's play, we can 
pass over the majority as typical recensions. There is a 
full but not original account in Richier's De Rebus Tur- 

^ Perondinus Cao. IV. 


carum (1540-3) and a briefer one in Muenster's Cosmographia 
(1544) and Sagundinus's Re Rebus Turcicis Lihri tres, revised 
by Ramus (1553). There are also Shute's translation of 
Cambinus (Two very notable commentaries . . . 1562), which 
reproduces its original faithfully, Nicolao Granucci's La 
Vita del Tamburlano, 1569), which is full but has no notable 
qualities, and Curio's Sarracenicae Historiae (1567), trans- 
lated by Newton as A Notable History of the Saracens 
(1575).^ The history of the German Philippus Lonicerus 
(Chronicorum Turcicorum Tomus Primus . . . etc., 1556) 
demands more attention, as it would appear from recent 
researches ^ that Marlowe had read it attentively and 
drew upon it, not always in connection with the life of 
Tamburlaine, but remembering details that appear in 
various parts of his play.^ In his description of Tambur- 
laine Lonicerus reproduces, often verbatim, the versions of 
Perondinus and other earlier chroniclers, but Callimachus's 
account of the battle of Varna makes the later edition 
(1578) of interest in connection with the second part of 
Marlowe's play.* In the same way, Marlowe appears to 
have read the Cosmographie Universelle of Fran9ois de 
Belief orest,^ though here again his borrowings can be traced 
chiefly in the second play. Petrus Bizarus, in his Persicarum 
rerum historia (1583), gives the same composite account 
as many of the compilers of the second half of the century, 
drawing liberally upon Perondinus, often quoting verbatim 
and often mingling phrases from the Magni Tamerlanis . . . 
Vita with descriptions which go back as far as Chalcondylas. 
He reproduces, what is rather less usual, Perondinus's 
version of Persian politics in the period immediately pre- 
ceding Tamburlaine's kingship.^ Another compiler, an 

1 For the passages in Newton's version which refer to Tamburlaine, 
see Appendix D. 

2 See Fresh Sources for Marlowe, by Ethel Seaton, Review of English 
Studies, Oct., 1929. 

^ See note to II. II. iii. 20. ^ See Introduction, post, pp. 41-3. 

^ See Fresh Sources for Marlowe, pp. 394-8 and Introduction, post, pp, 
44. 45 note. 6 See Introduction, ante, p. 28 and note. 



immediate successor to Bizarus, Pierre de la Primaudaye, 
whose book, originally published in 1577, was translated 
into English in 1586 {The French Academy . . . By Peter 
de la Primaudaye . . . translated into English by T.B.), also 
follows Perondinus both in this and in other details in his 
brief summary of the career and character of Tamburlaine.^ 
Too late presumably for Marlowe to have seen them, but 
of some general interest because of the light they throw 
on knowledge more or less generally diffused at the time, 
are Leunclavius's Latin translation of his fellow-country- 
man Gaudius' German version of some invaluable Turkish 
materials (Annales Sultanorum Othmanidorum, 1588), the 
first of the Oriental versions of the story to enter Europe, 
and his Supplements and Pandects. In 1595 Jean du Bee 
wrote his Historic du Grand Empereur Tamerlanes ... * tiree 
des monuments antiques des Arabes ', (which Arabs or what 
ancient records it remains impossible to say). The trans- 
lation of this pseudo-oriental version (1597) was of great 
service to Knolles {The Generall Historic of the Turkes, 
1603) and to Purchas {Purchas his Pilgrimes, 1625), t)^^ 
Purchas, it must be acknowledged, had the wit to wonder 
whether Alhacon's version cited by Jean du Bee is always 
to be taken literally. In the seventeenth century the 
increase in the number of authentic and reliable reports 
was considerable, but our present purpose is rather with 
the unauthentic and unreliable sixteenth-century saga upon 
which Marlowe drew for the career and character of his 

Marlowe's Sources. In the list of some forty authors 
in whose writings Marlowe could have found some account 
of the career of Timiir, there are very few of whom we are 
prepared to say with certainty ' Marlowe has read this ', 
only two or three of which we would say * Marlowe read this 
and was moved by it ', while there are a certain number 

1 For the references to Tamburlaine, which are brief, but definitely 
reminiscent of Perondinus, see chap. xliv. Of Fortune (p. 475, ed. 1586) 
and chap, xxiii. Of Glory (p. 253). 


which, though far more tensely charged with life than the 
imitative general historians, are obviously so alien to 
Marlowe's purpose and mood that we can say with certainty 
* These he did not consider '. 

It is, then, with the first two groups that we are con- 
cerned. There is a long list of authors from any one of 
whom, or from a combination of two or three of whom, 
Marlowe could have drawn nearly all the episodes in the first 
part of the play which can be traced. From Palmerius, 
Platina, Pius II, Cambinus (either in the original or in 
Shute's translation), Giovio (the original or Ashton's 
translation), Cuspinian, Christopherus Richerius, Muenster, 
Sagundinus, Curio (the original or Newton's translation), 
Granucci or Lonicerus, from these he could have learnt 
the simple outline of events that delighted European 
romancers before they were tested by comparison with the 
authentic oriental traditions.^ 

^ He would have learnt from practically all of them that Tamburlaine 
was born in or near Scythia (I italicize the material in this common saga 
which he actually used) of poor parents, that he was a shepherd and led a 
troop of robbers with whose aid he conquered the adjoining country, variously 
named, and, making for himself a foothold thereby, proceeded to greater and 
greater conquests. That he was distinguished for courage, energy, fixity of 
purpose, for transcendant military genius and great administrative ability. 
Most of them would support this by a description of the orderliness of 
Tamburlaine' s vast camp. After a career af conquest he met Bajazett 
emperor of the Turks in Armenia or Bithynia, at Ancora or near Moun, 
Stella. He conquered Bajazet and took him captive, some say together with 
his wife who was kept in slavery ; Bajazet was loaded with chains, some 
say of gold, put in a cage and carried about as a spectacle of ridicule on 
Tamburlaine' s expeditions. He was put under Tamburlaine 's table at his 
meals and forced to feed upon scraps that Tamburlaine threw to him like 
a dog. Further, when Tamburlaine mounted his horse he used Bajazet 
as a footstool or mounting-block. He continued an unbroken career of con- 
quest, being only once turned back, by the Egyptian or Arabian desert. 
Among his most famous military achievements were the sieges of Sebastia, 
Aleppo, Damascus, which he took with a cleverly constructed siege engine. 
When besieging a city it was his custom to change the colour of his tent day by 
day, from white to red, from red to black. By the time the third day was 
reached and the black tent erected, the town which had held out so defiantly 
could expect no mercy. One city did indeed, after holding out till the third 
day, send an embassy of women and children, or girls and boys, dressed 
in white and carrying olive branches to beg for mercy. Tamburlaine ordered 
them, to be slain by a charge of cavalry. A man in his camp who knew him 
well expostulated with him for this act of brutality and Tamburlaine 
replied with furiously flashing eyes, ' Do you think I am only a man ? 


With so much common matter so widely diffused, is it 
possible to say which are likeliest to have been Marlowe's 
sources or to find any details which suggest that he must 
at least have looked into a certain book ? I think it is. 
The names of Chalcondylas, Haytoun, Fregoso, Mexia, 
Perondinus and Primaudaye are conspicuously missing 
from the formidable list of concurrent authorities mentioned 
above because, happily, there are episodes or interpreta- 
tions of character which Marlowe's play shares only ^ with 
these writers and suggest that to these at least we can 
point with some degree of probability. Chalcondylas alone, 
of all the writers cited here, repeats the widespread eastern 
tradition that Timur felt for his first and chief wife a respect 
and affection unusual among his race. The wife of Themir, 
in Chalcondylas's history, is a woman of power and wisdom 
to whose judgement the Khan defers and whom he consults 
even upon matters of state and military policy. She tries 
to prevent a war between Pajasites and Themir and Themir 
listens to her advice and adopts a conciliatory attitude 
until the conduct of the Turkish ruler becomes unsuffer- 
able and she of her own accord gives consent to the war. 
Here, and here alone, seems to be the outline of that rela- 
tionship from which Marlowe draws so much of the poetry 
of the first part of his play and the poignancy of the second. 
The love of Tamburlaine for Zenocrate may have been his 
own supreme addition to the story, but it is perhaps worth 
noticing that he could have chanced upon this part of 

I am the wrath of God and the ruin oj the world.' At some point in his 
career a certain city named Capha was forced to yield up its treasure by a 
clever stratagem of Tamburlaine 's. After a life of conquests he returned to 
his own country laden with spoils and captives and established himself 
there in his own city of Samarqand. He left two sons behind him who 
were incapable of carrying on their father's career, and lost his 

1 Or, to be more precise, there is one aspect of Tamburlaine's character 
which finds a counterpart only in Chalcondylas 's version, another which 
appears similarly in Haytoun 's, and a series of interesting episodes in 
Marlowe's play traceable only to Fregoso, Mexia, Perondinus, Primau- 
daye and Bizarus, from any one of whom or from all jointly, Marlowe 
may have gathered them. 


the Byzantine narrative without reading the account of 
Themir's career in the third book, for it comes by itself at 
the end of the second. Chalcondylas is a discursive writer, 
and, though he was available in a Latin translation from 
1556 onward,^ Marlowe may well, as an editor is unhappily 
not permitted to do, have thrown the book aside after a 
few pages of the third part and turned to more succinct 
and graphic sources. 

Such sources he would have found in the Latin (a language 
that certainly was familiar to him) of Fregoso or Perondinus, 
in the Spanish of Mexia or the Italian, French, or English 
of his translators, in the French of Primaudaye or the 
English of his translator. One series of episodes, already 
remarked in Fregoso's account, ^ the steps by which Tam- 
burlaine passes from a Scythian shepherd to become king 
of Persia — the winning over of the leader of the thousand 
horse, the support given to the brother who is intriguing 
against the king of Persia and the final displacement of 
that brother by Tamburlaine from the throne he had 
raised him to — appears to be unhistorical and to be found 
only in Fregoso, Mexia, Perondinus, Bizarus and Primau- 
daye. Mexia undoubtedly drew much from Fregoso, as 
he himself acknowledges, and from any one of these five 
Marlowe could derive also the other features of the com- 
posite story as it is outlined above. A certain amount of 
importance has been attached to Mexia's phrasing in the 
description of Tamburlaine's three sets of tents ^ but we 
cannot, I think, build upon this the assumption that 
Marlowe read the Spanish original, though there is nothing 
to prove that he did not. The description of Bajazet 
serving as footstool to Tamburlaine, which, owing to the 
manipulations of the translators did not appear in For- 
tescue's English version,* might have been found by Mar- 

1 Clauserus, Laonici Chalcocondylae A theniensis, de origine et rebus 
gestis Turcorum Libri Decern, etc. Basle, 1556. 

2 See ante, p. 28. 3 See note, p. 139. 
* See Appendix C and notes. 


lowe in the chapter on Bajazet in the Itahan or French 
tianslations or in the chapter on Tamburlaine in Mexia's 
original, but here again it might have been drawn from 
Perondinus's brief but sufficiently graphic comment or 
any one of the authors who reproduce it. Perhaps the only 
passage in Marlowe's play which carries us back to Mexia 
(or his translators) rather than to Fregoso, Perondinus or 
Primaudaye is the lament of Zenocrate over the deaths 
of Bajazet and Zabina (Act. V. Sc. ii.) which holds the very 
note of those meditations upon the transitoriness of earthly 
glory that is the key to Mexia's interpretation and is other- 
wise disregarded by Marlowe. With Perondinus, however, 
there are close likenesses of phrasing, especially in the 
description of Tamburlaine (Granucci also gives such a 
description, but it does not suggest Marlowe's as does 
Perondinus's), besides the strong main likenesses of tone and 

It is then, as has been long acknowledged, with Mexia 
and with Perondinus that we are mainly concerned as the 
written sources of Marlowe's Tamburlaine, and to these we 
may add the interpretation put upon the character by 
Haytoun.^ Marlowe's treatment of both of these is in 
many ways similar. He takes from them the salient 
elements of the career of Tamburlaine, simplifying and 
condensing so as to give the clear impression of a swift 
and unchecked rise surmounting by its power all opposition 
until opposition itself falters and Tamburlaine moves 
through a world of subject kings and prostrate empires. He 
omits, as is inevitable in the conversion of narrative into 
drama, all those episodes which lie outside this or are 
redundant. Thus, the early years of Tamburlaine are only 
hinted at and the events that followed his death, the 
break-up of his empire, are but dimly forecast in the char- 
acters of his three sons. He passes directly from the 

1 To these we may add again the brief summary given by Primaudaye 
obviously from Perondinus and Bizarus's account which often quotes 
him verbatim. In either case the original is still Perondinus. 


winning of Theridamas to the preparations against Bajazet ; 
omitting a list of minor conquests which would clog the 
action and take from the effect of Tamburlaine's comet- 
like movements. For the same reason he does not dwell 
upon the organization of the Scythian camp and the mili- 
tary engines used, especially for sieges, both of which are 
treated at length by the historians and are historical facts 
of some importance.^ He admits no checks to Tambur- 
laine's career, such as his turning back before the impass- 
able Arabian desert, for it is the essence of this spirit to 
transcend all earthly bounds. His is a magnificent but 
dizzy progress. All that could diminish or humanize him 
by partial failure is stripped away. By such means as 
these a swiftness of movement is given to the play which 
is lacking to the far shorter prose accounts. The character 
of Tamburlaine is isolated in its fearless splendour, its 
insolence and its command by a number of other omissions. 
The love of his own country with which both Mexia and 
Perondinus credit him is reduced to a phrase or two about 
* Samarcanda, where I breathed first ', for the Tamburlaine 
of the play is of no age and of no country ; he is the ever- 
lasting embodiment of the unslaked_aspiration of youth^ 
So again, little details that in Perondinus's account make 
for individuality are wiped out, particularly that occasional 
meanness, craftiness, perfidy which colours the Italian 
author's description. Marlowe drew his colours from a 
surer poetic source and had no need of such worldly know- 
ledge as that of the astute and mature Perondinus. The 
story of the friend of Tamburlaine who expostulated with 
him for his ruthlessness has gone, except for the ringing 
phrase about the Scourge of God. No man, in the first 
part of the tale, criticizes ; all are sunk in a profound, 
mesmeric adoration. 

1 It may be remarked that some of this material found its way into the 
second part of the play when Marlowe had partially exhausted the interest 
of Tamburlaine's career and was at a loss for episodes to fill out the 


One more detail Marlowe deliberately alters from the 
combined version of Mexia and Perondinus,^ the comparison 
between Tamburlaine and Bajazet — again to emphasize, 
though more cheaply this time and by a device we would 
willingly be rid of, the power of Tamburlaine's single brain. 
In the originals the army of Tamburlaine is as great as 
Bajazet 's, some say greater, or better equipped. Marlowe, 
to whom Bajazet is after all, only a foil for Tamburlaine, 
throws the balance the other way and the Persians and 
Scythians have the glory of conquest over numbers many 
times exceeding theirs. Bajazet, again, and his Turks are 
valiant men, heroic fighters for whom even the later chron- 
iclers feel a measure of sympathy, but Marlowe reduces the 
dignity and the valour of Bajazet, presenting him as a self- 
indulgent, headstrong Oriental, thus leaving Tamburlaine 
secure in our undivided sympathy. 

An integral part of his interpretation is the inspiration 
of Zenocrate's beauty, that beauty a sense of which is 
mysteriously inseparable from valour and deprived of which 
Tamburlaine's aspiration sinks back upon itself in gloomy 
and savage rage. Acting upon hints from Perondinus (but 
not from Mexia), he has also given character and personality 
to certain of the minor figures who can be so treated as to 
enhance the colouring of Tamburlaine ; the Soldan, Theri- 
damas, Cosroe and particularly Mycetes and Calyphas. 

Such modifications as these tend to simplify the story 
and to make the figure of Tamburlaine stand out clearly 
from its background. This is the natural process of Mar- 
lowe's intellect, and it is precisely how we should expect 
to find him handling a large mass of somewhat amorphous 
material, reducing it to clarity and continuity, to shapeli- 
ness and to the service of one strong clear thought. When 
he is writing freely he does not reproduce his sources. He 
finds in certain records a figure, a series of events, a situation 

1 The version of Primaudaye is so much condensed that little opportunity- 
is left for this distinction. 


which seems shaped by nature to hold, or almost to hold, 
his own burning thought. The figure, the event is informed 
with the thought and, behold, the place that knew it knows 
it no more ; it is not Chalcondylas or Mexia or Perondinus 
or Haytoun but the idea of which they had been but faint 

Additional Sources of Part II. Of the events and 
episodes available to Marlowe when he wrote the first 
part of Tamburlaine, very few had been omitted. There 
was, consequently, little left of the original legend when 
a second part was to be written. He had, beyond 
doubt, a clear conception of the development the chief 
character should suffer, and this differed so far from the 
conception of the first part as to endanger the effective- 
ness of a play written on similar lines. His sympathies and 
comments seem, in the same way, to be continually break- 
ing away from the tradition he himself had established ; he 
must have longed already to be at work on other material. 
In this situation, then, with his sources for the life already 
drained and his sympathies no longer strongly enough 
engaged to stimulate his imagination to constructive plot- 
ting, he seems to have been driven to eke out his material 
by introducing irrelevant episodes, some of which he weaves 
in skilfully, others of which are, and look like, padding. 
The earliest and chief of these is an elaborate sub-plot, the 
series of episodes whereby Orcanes, now the Turkish leader, 
enters into a peace treaty with Sigismund of Hungary and 
the European Christians, is betrayed and taken in the rear by 
them, yet nevertheless defeats them in the battle they had 
sacrificed their honour to bring about. The name Sigis- 
mund is that of the Hungarian leader contemporary with 
Tamburlaine, who endeavoured to raise the siege of Con- 
stantinople in 1397, from which Bajazet was only drawn 
by the approach of the Tartar forces which he was forced 
to meet at Ancora. All the rest is a neat transposition of 
the events that led up to the battle of Varna in 1444, wherein 


Amurath II defeated Vladislaus of Poland and Hungary, 
who had sworn a truce with him and then, urged by the 
other nations of the Christian League, had taken him at a 
disadvantage and marched into his territory after he had 
withdrawn his forces. It all seems a little irrelevant both 
to the action and to the general sentiment of the play, for 
Orcanes' triumph serves few purposes in the narrative ; it 
does not serve to make him appear a great potentate and 
his subsequent defeat by Tamburlaine is expected before 
it comes, while, on the other hand, his rather poignant 
and suggestive speeches on treachery and the chivalric 
law of arms make a jarring contrast with the frivolous and 
fantastic mood of the scenes in which he and the other 
captive kings ultimately appear. This is partly because 
Marlowe, lacking a truer incentive, follows his sources fairly 
closely for the details of the episode without regarding 
the effect which the episode would have upon the continuity 
of sentiment or action. The source was, as has been recently 
pointed out,^ the account of Bonfinius, Antonii Bonfinii 
Rerum Ungaricarum decades quattuor (1543), supplemented 
by Callimachus, Callimachi Experientis de clade Varnensi 
(1556). This was reprinted in the popular Turcicorum 
Chronicorum Tomi Duo ... of Philippus Lonicerus (1578). 
These accounts, but particularly that of Bonfinius, are 
closely followed by Marlowe. The pact between the Turks 
and the Christians, sought by the Turks, was confirmed by 
an oath on both sides, the Christians swearing by the Gospel 
and the Turks by the Koran. ^ Amurath then withdrew 
his forces into Carmania, leaving Turkish Europe unde- 
fended. Meanwhile the other members of the Christian 
League were ill-satisfied with this peace concluded by one 
of their members singly and pressure was brought to bear 
on the Hungarians. The Papal Legate, Cardinal Julian, in 
an impassioned oration besought them to consider that the 

1 E. Seaton, Times Lit. Supp., June i6, 1921, p. 388. 

2 For the close parallels between the Latin of Bonfinius and Marlowe's 
play, see the notes to the second Act of Part II. 


league with the Turk was but a breaking of faith with the 
rest of the Christian League ; that it was the duty of a 
Christian to circumvent the infidel by any means in his 
power ; that the Turk had never kept faith with the Chris- 
tians and therefore could not expect faith from them ; 
that it had ever been accounted a crime to observe oaths 
that were manifestly evil in themselves.^ He ended by 
absolving them in the Pope's name from their oath to 
Amurath, who had meanwhile faithfully carried out his 
side of the terms. Vladislaus then gathered an army and 
marched into Bulgaria, the Cardinal urging him on and the 
Turkish forts and towns falling without resistance. Am- 
urath heard the news, gathered an army, recrossed the 
Hellespont and marched to Varna on the Black Sea coast. 
The fight was long and bitter and fate seemed against 
the Turks when Amurath caught sight of the Crucifix on 
the Christian banners and pulling out from the fold of his 
robe the treaty broken by the Christians, lifted it to heaven 
and exclaimed (to use the words in which Knolles later 
translated) 2 ' Now if thou be a God as they say thou art, 
and as we dreame, revenge the wrong now done unto thy 
name and me.' Thereafter the fate of the battle changed 
and the Christians were defeated. Vladislaus and the 
Cardinal were killed and large numbers of their host who 
were not drowned in the Danube were made slaves by the 
Turks. Marlowe's likeness to this account is striking, even to 
verbal resemblance, so much so as to suggest hasty assimila- 
tion of matter which could be used to eke out his play. 

The next event in the play, the escape of Callapine, who 
is defeated in the last Act but saves his life through the 
death of Tamburlaine, is generally referred to in many 
of the histories of Bajazet's life and is very slightly treated 
by Marlowe, It is set in motion before the episode of 
Sigismund and Orcanes is completed, but it is unconnected 

1 For the close reproduction of these arguments in Marlowe's version 
of the story, see, again, II. II. i and the notes passim. 
^ See II. II. ii. and the notes. 


with it and does not bear any relation to the other episodes 
of the play, most of which are similarly borrowed and 
loosely affiliated to the figure of Tamburlaine without any 
further linking together. The episodes with Tamburlaine, 
Zenocrate and their sons are developed by Marlowe perhaps 
from the slight hints of some biographers that Tambur- 
laine's children fell below their father in military achieve- 
ments, though one Oriental source, probably unknown to 
Marlowe, tells of the Spartan upbringing he gave them. All 
his own is the character of Calyphas,in which it seems he 
preferred to isolate and develop the hint of degeneracy 
which some of the chroniclers give to both of Tamburlaine 's 
sons ; Marlowe thus, by a stroke of nature, leaves the two 
surviving sons respectful and awestruck, but utterly un- 
endowed with genius. The death of Zenocrate, like the 
rest of the domestic episodes of this part, has not yet been 
traced to a source. It is probably Marlowe's own ; there 
are passages in the scene as mature as Edward II and 
touched with the same weary fullness of reflection ; a strange 
revelation of the rapidity of imaginative experience. 

The next episode of any magnitude, is the taking of 
Balsera by Theridamas and Techelles in which the capture 
of Olympia can also be traced to a popular source, the story 
of Isabella and her persecution by Rodomont in Cantos 
XXVIII and XXIX of Orlando Furioso, combined with 
an episode narrated by Belief orest in his Cosmographie. 
Ariosto gives the story at some length. In Marlowe's 
hands it suffers dramatic condensation, and we no longer 
follow in detail the process by which the herbs for the magic 
ointment (it is a lotion with Ariosto) are culled and brewed 
under the strict surveillance of the lover. The author's 
long eulogy of Isabella and account of her apotheosis gives 
place to a brief epitaph fitly spoken by Theridamas, who 
has never perjured himself or proved so base or so heartless 
as Rodomont. 

The resemblance of Marlowe's story to Ariosto 's is so 


general and so few of the more notable elements of Marlowe's 
dialogues appear in Ariosto that the adaptation of the story 
makes it mainly his own. If he used Ariosto at all it must 
have been either through a report of the tale or from a 
memory of it recurring from a perhaps not very recent 

Yet another though far briefer portion of this second 
part can be traced to its original, the undramatic and barely 
relevant speech on fortification which Tamburlaine delivers 
to his two sons (II. III. ii. 62-82). ^ 

The close resemblance of this passage to parts of Paul 
Ive's Practise of Fortification so clearly pointed out by M. 
Danchin makes it evident that Marlowe had certainly had 
this book in his hands and had deliberately incorporated 
a passage which took his fancy there along with the other 
heterogeneous borrowings with which he eked out the play. 

1 The possibility of his having seen Harington's translation (pub. 1591) 
in manuscript must, of course, be considered, but there are no close 
resemblances between Marlowe's phrasing and that of Harington in the 
passages under discussion. 

Miss Seaton {R.E.S., Oct., 1929, pp. 395-6) points out that the earlier 
part of Marlowe's episode may be derived from Belleforest's account of an 
incident in the siege of Rhodes, where the mistress of the Governor of the 
fort killed and burned her children, to keep them from falling into the 
hands of the infidels. Thus Marlowe appears to have combined two 
stories, that of the Rhodian heroine and that of Ariosto's Isabella, with 
the corresponding changes in detail. 

2 In an article in the Revue Germanique (Jan.-Fev. 1912) : En marge de 
la seconde partie de Tamburlaine, M. F. C. Danchin points out that these 
lines are an almost verbal reproduction of the similar description in Paul 
Ive's Practise of Fortification (pub. 1589) ; a portion of the passage to 
which attention is there drawn may be quoted here : 

' Who so shall fortifie in playne ground, may make the fort he pretendeth 
of what forme of figure he will and therefore he may with less compasse 
of wall enclose a more superficies of ground, then where that scope may not 
be had. Also it may be the perfecter because the angles that do happen 
in it, may be made the flatter or sharper. Moreover the ground in plains 
is good to make ramperts of, and easie for cariage, but where water wanteth, 
the building is costly and chargeable, for that a fort scituated in a dry plain, 
must have deep ditches, high walls, great bulwarks, large ramparts, and 
cavalieros : besides it must be great to lodge five or six thousand men, 
and have great place in it for them to fight, ranked in battaile. It must 
also have countermines, privie ditches, secret issuinges out to defend the 
ditche, casmats in the ditch, covered ways round about it, and an argine 
or banke to empeache the approach.' (Chapter II.) As M. Danchin points 
out, the name ' quinque angle ', which Marlowe borrowed, occurs in 
Chapter III, in a passage ' que Marlowe ne semble pas avoir compris '. 
(See Rev. Germ., pp. 27-30.) 


In studying the relations of these two parts to the materials 
upon which they are based it becomes clear that the true 
poetic fusion of material, by which isolated facts are trans- 
muted into a consistent interpretation of life and the material 
of a portion of life so shaped that that form itself constitutes 
an interpretation, can only be traced in the first part. 
The first part alone reveals Marlowe's mind at work on a 
characteristic structure ; much of the second, though 
flashes of power and passages of thought as clear as anything 
in the earlier part occur at intervals throughout, is, by com- 
parison, journeyman work. The form of the whole is no 
longer an inevitable expression of an underlying idea and 
the facts or episodes which are used stand out as separate 
portions of a piece of composite building, and do not appear so 
far subsidiary as to be merely incidental to an overmastering 

One other general source of Tamhurlaine — and not the 
least significant — remains, in the examination of which we 
find confirmation of the belief, already suggested in this 
sketch, that Marlowe's mind was that of a fine scholar no 
less than of a poet. The extent of Marlowe's geographical 
knowledge has been the subject of as interesting a change of 
opinion during the last fifty or sixty years as any other 
aspect of his mind or thought. Most of the nineteenth- 
century critics who edited or commented upon his works, 
finding apparently inexplicable inconsistencies between the 
modern maps of Africa, Asia, Europe and the allusions in 
Marlowe's work (particularly in the two parts of Tamhur- 
laine), assumed, not unreasonably, that his knowledge of 
territories unfamiliar to Elizabethan Englishmen v/as slight, 
conjectural and amply eked out with imagination. His 
topography lapsed into strange fancies : Zanzibar was 
assigned to the west coast of Africa and the Danube flowed 
into the Mediterranean Sea.^ 

^ The explanation of the course of the Danube is not traceable to Ortelius, 
but to other sources. See notes to II. I. i. 37. 


It was not till recently, when Miss Seaton's researches on 
Tamburlaine led her to investigate this puzzle more closely, 
that the stigma was removed.^ When the place-names of 
Tamburlaine, particularly of the second play, are checked 
against those of the Elizabethan cartographers whose works 
Marlowe might have consulted, it becomes clear that 
Ortelius, the compiler of the Theatrum Orhis Ten arum, is 
the immediate source of much of Marlowe's information, ^ 
including the curious fact that Zanzibar is a West African 
district.^ In her study of Marlowe's Map, Miss Seat on 
explained away these divagations, traced the campaigns of 
Tamburlaine and of his adversaries, and in every case in 
which Marlowe's accuracy has been called in question, 
pointed to Ortelius as the source which he followed faith- 
fully and as the explanation of the hitherto insoluble riddles 
in Tamburlaine : 

' As we follow these tracks through the Theatrum, the 
conviction grows that Marlowe used this source at least with 
the accuracy of a scholar and the commonsense of a mer- 
chant-venturer, as well as with the imagination of a poet. 
The assurance is all the more welcome as it supports the 
growing belief, expressed by such a critic as Swinburne, and 
by such an authority on Marlowe as Professor Tucker 
Brooke, that he was something more than a dramatist of 
swashbuckling violence and chaotic inconsequence — a Miles 
Gloriosus of English drama. Here we find order for chaos, 
something of the delicate precision of the draughtsman, for 
the crude formlessness of the impressionist. Panoramic 
though his treatment may be, there is method in his seven- 
league-booted strides. We wrong Marlowe if, in our eager- 
ness to praise his high moments of poetic inspiration, we 
mistakenly depreciate his qualities of intellect, of mental 

^ See Marlowe's Map by Ethel Seaton. Essays and Studies by Members 
of the English Association, Vol. X, 1924. 

2 Especially the maps of Africa, Tartaria, Persiae Regnum, Terra Sancta, 
Egyptia, Natolia and Turcicum Imperium. 

^ See note to II. I. vi. 67-8. 


curiosity and logical construction. We do him wrong, 
being so majestical, to see in him only this show of violence.'^ 

It is gratifying to have this circumstantial and almost 
scientific proof of a quality of mind which some of his 
critics have long recognized in Marlowe ; the harmony of 
intellect and imagination which makes him stand out, even 
among Elizabethans, by his thirst for exactitude and scien- 
tific detail and the power to clothe again the skeleton trans- 
mitted by records with spirit and with reality. The last 
apparent inconsistency in his temperament has been 
cleared up ; there is no longer a discrepancy between the 
acute, logical thinker, the friend and equal of Ralegh and 
Harriott and the poet-topographer of the Mongol Empire. 
Marlowe was, after all, as accurate a geographer as Harriott. 

Such, briefly, are the chief sources from which Marlowe 
drew the material for his play and such the modifications 
inevitable in his conversion of them. But more significant 
than these is the revelation of Marlowe's own habit of mind 
which is implicit in his treatment of his authorities. 

Marlowe's treatment of his Sources. It is after all but a 
slight response that Marlowe makes to the simple medieval 
tragedy of Mexia and the saturnine melancholy of Peron- 
dinus. He had not yet the power to keep the pathos with 
which Mexia invests Bajazet without thereby revealing 
Tamburlaine's masterfulness to be mere brutality, his 
aspiration to be coarse insolence, his progress a devastating 
march of crude destruction and unchivalric self-glorification. 
To harmonize these two themes was assuredly beyond 
Marlowe's strength when he wrote Tamhurlaine as it was 
beyond his immediate purpose. Mexia's account is not 
that of a poet but of a moralist of some dignity and the 
reflective comment which is perhaps the greatest charm 
of the original was not germane to Marlowe's purpose. 
His debt is that of a poet who finds in his source the bare 
matter of the story, but not his own interpretation or 

1 Marlowe's Map, p. 34. 


orientation. Even Perondinus's version, much closer to his 
purpose, is seen upon nearer view to be radically altered. 
Marlowe puts aside the ever-present hint of waste which, in 
Perondinus, dims the glory of Tamburlaine's aspiration but 
reveals, lurking behind, the futility and the pity of it. He 
takes the character that Perondinus has described and, 
entering more deeply and more exultantly into its aspira- 
tions and its dreams, shuts his eyes to the gloom and desola- 
tion which was the price of this brief blaze of glory. He 
isolates it alike from cause and consequence ; it is self- 
contained, self-justified. He converts Perondinus's brief 
prose epic, with its breadth of survey and its sense of the 
relations of cause and effect, into the drama of an individual 
brought so close to the spectator that it hides the back- 
ground. Not only does he change the position of Tambur- 
laine in the picture, but he lays less emphasis upon the 
brutality, the hungry, almost aimless barbarianism, the lust 
for slaughter, wreckage and waste. His Tamburlaine is 
ruthless, but only because of his undeviating pursuit of a 
vision and it is this vision with which Marlowe has dowered 
him. He has some of the passion and the poetry of Alex- 
ander. Perondinus knew well enough what destruction 
and havoc these half-tamed Tartars worked ; he never 
spared the long recital of cities wrecked, fanes destroyed, 
the monuments of civilization overthrown. Marlowe gives 
a picture softened (as it is in part with Mexia) by analogy 
with the stories of irresistible and glorious conquerors of 
classical story, illuminated with Alexander's beauty, 
coloured by the pictures of Xenophon, so that the waste 
and destruction of what can never be replaced recedes into 
the distance and sunset mists. Marlowe cheats us into 
thinking that this too has a strange, perverse beauty of its 
own, a deception that only a very young man could practise 
on himself or on us. He is still too immature to know the 
meaning of civilization, too limited to perceive that though 

man civilized has many stains upon him, man uncivilized 


has all of these and many more. That knowledge was to 
come later; I think there is no attempt to deny it in 
Edward II or in Hero and Leander. Meanwhile he exults in 
the vigour of his Scythian warriors (surely one of the strangest 
pictures of primitive fighting men to be found on record ?) 
and tumbles down light-heartedly the towers of Babylon 
where ' Belus, Ninus, and great Alexander Have rode in 
triumph \ The overwhelming pathos and pity escape him. 
In the second part, where the career of destruction begins 
to pall, this is no longer always so and the mood of Mexia 
and of Perondinus makes itself felt. But the poet who had, 
in a moment of maturity and wisdom, written the beautiful 
lament of Zenocrate over Tamburlaine's love of earthly 
glory, still puts resolutely from him that half-incoherent 
sense of the pity of things which was later to be one of the 
deepest-lying springs of his poetry. He is forcing his 
genius, in this later part, and not only forcing it along a line 
which it no longer desired to follow, but retarding its due 
development, deliberately postponing that later phase in 
which, an intuition seems to have told him, the strange 
wisdom of tragic perception would strike dumb the arro- 
gance upon which his power was now resting. 

The * debt ' of Marlowe to his sources is, then, in the nature 
of things, as small as any poet's. Of all his contemporaries, 
he can say with most assurance, ' I call no man father in 
England but myself.' Neither in England, nor in Europe ; 
not even in Scythia. For his Tamburlaine, brushing aside 
the interpreters, goes to the root of the truth which they 
laboriously overlook, sees the spirit ' lift upward and divine ' 
though it mistake itself and deceive him in hungering for 
* the sweet fruition of an earthly crown '. Separated by 
race, creed, tradition and civilization he has yet a kinship 
with the great Tartan Khan that lies deeper than any of 
these, the kinship of genius with genius. Timur would 
hardly have recognized his mind and his desire in any of 
the portraits so painstakingly painted by the historians 


from the middle of the fifteenth century onward. There 
is much in Marlowe's Tamburlaine that he would have 
known for the very echo of his own youth ; I believe there 
are things there of which he alone, besides Marlowe, would 
have known the full significance. 

This being so, it is idle to do more in the case of Marlowe 
than to remark such outward resemblance as his story 
bears to his originals. The process by which he came to 
his real knowledge is his own, and the possession of informa- 
tion, after the bare, essential outline was gained, had little 
to do with it. Like a later poet, he seems to have known 
consciously or unconsciously in early youth that deeper 
than the truth of fact lies the truth of the imagination. 
Perhaps there is no great poet who has not been aware of 
or at least obeyed the law implied in Keats's words. The 
dwellers in the suburbs of art submit themselves to experi- 
ences and immerse themselves in the world of action, 
hoping so to appease the longing for strange horizons and 
shoreless seas. The great imaginative poet has no need 
of this ; China seas and the skyline of the Gobi desert are 
no more to him than the embodiment of that ideal form 
that his soul already holds. To have seen is sometimes, 
for such minds, to have lost, to have made limited matter of 
fact what would else have remained the limitless world of 
the imagination. What the imagination seizes upon as 
beauty must be truth ; what the eye passes on to the imag- 
ination as an impression of an actual experience may be 
untrue to the essential spirit both of the beholder and of the 
thing beheld. Marlowe's mind ranged over the kingdoms 
of the world and their glory ; it were folly to believe that 
such a mind could best thrive by a dutiful apprenticeship 
to historical record or to the experience of everyday life. 

This free movement of poetic imagination does not involve 
— as has been sometimes implied — ^vagueness or confused 
observation, either of books or of men. Marlowe's absorp- 
tion in what he read seems to have been as profound, his 


memories as clear cut, as that of the most precise scholar 
among his contemporaries, whether the object of his study 
were a record, a poem or a map. His numerous allusions 
in Tamburlaine to single phrases and details of Ovid's work 
would alone be enough to support this, were it not substanti- 
ated by the evidence of his treatment of the maps of Ortelius 
and his memory of the work of Virgil, Cicero, Lucan, Horace 
and of the special records upon which he drew for his other 
plays. But accuracy of study and retentiveness of memory 
is one thing, the free imaginative handling of what has been 
so retained, another and a rarer. In thinking of the process 
of Marlowe's mind, it must never be forgotten that he 
combines the scientific precision of a fine scholar with the 
wide imaginative scope of a great poet, a combination rare 
at all times and among Englishmen perhaps only possessed 
in greater degree by Milton. 

When the substance of Marlowe's story has been traced 
to its sources and his indebtedness therein acknowledged, 
all that remains is his own ; the poetic conception that 
makes his play the only interpretation of genius that the 
life and aspiration of Timur has ever received. He finds 
in the half-obliterated records of this aspiration an echo of 
his own, as yet untried and unquenched. Mind rushes to 
mind and the inevitable union is achieved across the barrier 
of years and race. All that has intervened drops into in- 
significance ; all that is not part of this transcendant vision 
falls aside as irrelevant. Marlowe finds in Timiir, as he 
found later in Faustus, as he never perhaps found or sought 
again, the indication of a mind tuned as his own was to 
the reverberations of strange, earth-shaking thunder, to the 
beauty and the glancing terror that beset man on that 
strange journey that is his destiny. It is the radiance of 
youth, to which fear lends rather exhilaration than awe, 
that colours the earlier play. Power radiates from Marlowe, 
as from Timur, power such as the relatively weary minds 


of common men rouse themselves in vain to contemplate. 
Only such men as were Timiir and Marlowe can feel with 
awful exultation the sweep of the great forces in the grip 
of which they are carried and which it seems just within 
their power to guide and to control. Marlowe, possessed 
of the same strange spirit which he discerns in Timiir's 
vision, * Looks out upon the winds with glorious fear ' and in 
that breathless joy creates the Tamburlaine of the play. 

Tamburlaine embodies at first a poet's conception of the 
life of action, a glorious dream of quickened emotions, of 
exhilaration and stimulus that should ' strip the mind of 
the lethargy of custom ', tear the veils from its eyes and 
lay bare before it in all-satisfying glory the arcana where 
the secret of life dwells, a secret ever elusive yet ever troub- 
ling men's desire. In happy exultation Marlowe fills with 
this figure the earlier scenes,unsuspicious of the crude, blunt 
passions that must necessarily be called up by blood and 
the intoxication of battle, of the wary vigilance, the practical 
alertness by which alone a rebel leader can preserve his life, 
the things that steal away the moment of vision and subdue 
the glowing colours of which * youthful poets dream '. But 
as the first part of the play proceeds, his Tamburlaine 
changes. Marlowe himself perceives this strange conflict 
between the service of valour and the service of that beauty 
upon which valour yet depends. For a time a union be- 
tween them is yet possible ; the ' sum of glory ' is ' that 
virtue ' which can conceive and yet control the emotions 
stirred by beauty ; the poet, exalted above the world of 
dreams and the world of actuality, holds both to their true 
task, shaping both to the service of supreme vision. In 
the second part of the play Tamburlaine changes still more ; 
Marlowe had begun to perceive the discrepancy between his 
dream of the life of action and the world of practical life. 
The imaginative working out of his story had been enough 
to teach him this. There is little exultation or aspiration, 
only an overstrained repetition and exaggeration, a vigorous 


but futile effort to stimulate a tired imagination and to 
sweep again into the tireless, spontaneous rhythms of the 
earlier part. 

But though the later figure fails of its earlier poetry, all 
is not lost. There is a gain in poignancy and in humanity. 
Tamburlaine, who breaks down into frenzy and half-insane 
rhetorical hyperbole, is humanly nearer to our understanding 
than the impenetrable, soaring visionary of the first part. 
The same can be said of many of the other characters. When 
Tamburlaine ceases to blind us with his unearthly splendour 
we are free to perceive them, not merely as obedient parts 
of the background, but as themselves potential centres of 
drama. Zenocrate, who only speaks effectively once in the 
first part, when, in the absence of Tamburlaine, she chants 
the moving lament over the Turkish monarchs and the 
prayer against Tamburlaine 's worship of the glory of the 
world, commands not only the courtiers but Tamburlaine 
himself when she lies on her death-bed : 

' I fare, my Lord as other Empresses 
' That when this fraile and transitory flesh 
' Hath sucked the measure of that vitall aire 
' ' That feeds the body with his dated health, 
'Wanes with enforst and necessary change.' 

These are not fitting words for the presence of that 
Tamburlaine who held * the Fates fast bound in iron chains ' ; 
nor is it to such a man that they are spoken, but to a man 
who will falter in the midst of his threats to ' Batter the 
shining palace of the sun ' and cry : 

* If thou pittiest Tamburlaine the great 

' Come down from heaven and live with me againe.' 

The deliberate isolating and dehumanizing of his character 
in the earlier part has its artistic reward here : ' Though 
she be dead, yet let me think she lives,' and it is Theridamas 
who has followed him through the conquest of the world, 
who tenderly and gravely draws him away : ' This raging 
cannot make her live.' In the same way the minor char- 


acters move forward from their subordinate positions and 
show themselves to have been but obscured by the excess 
of light turned upon the central figure. That removed, 
individuality is revealed in them. Theridamas attempts 
his conquest of Olympia ; Calyphas, reared in the purple 
and cynically untouched by the harsh virtues of a father 
whose sword has raised him from obscurity, makes his 
gallant and humorous protest against the Scythian cult of 
arms ; Orcanes, the inheritor of the rule of Bajazet, speaks, 
before melodrama claims him as its victim, the only lines 
in the later play which are fraught either with the tremulous 
passion or the clear thought of the earlier part : 

'Then if there be a Christ, as Christians say, 

' But in their deeds deny him for their Christ : . . . 

' Open thou shining veil of Cynthia 

' And make a passage from the imperial heaven 

' That he that sits on high and never sleeps, 

' Nor in one place is circumscriptible 

' But every where fills every Continent, 

* With strange infusion of his sacred vigour, 

' May in his endless power and purity 

' Behold and venge this traitor's perjury . . .' 

Much has been said of the formlessness of Tamburlaine 
and, in strict justice, it must be granted that the play lacks, 
even in the first part, that clear shaping of its material 
which itself constitutes a great part of a dramatist's inter- 
pretation. This can be traced to one evident cause which 
has already been suggested, that Marlowe had not, at the 
time of writing Tamhurlaine, an interpretation comprehen- 
sive enough to include all the material which his story 
presented to him. The mind and desires of Tamburlaine 
he knows perhaps as no man before or since has known 
them, but the interrelations of this mind with others and of 
those others among themselves, the consequences and sig- 
nificance of his attitude and of his career were obscure to 
Marlowe. He hesitates sometimes in confusion as he per- 
ceives pressing upon him a world of experience and emotion 


that threatens destruction to the single, clear concept upon 
which the play rests ; he permits to Zenocrate a speech 
fraught with the woe of the vanquished, he draws delicately 
the weak figure of Mycetes, more robustly the original char- 
acter of Calyphas, then he is driven to bar his mind resolutely 
against his perception of the desolation and the nothingness 
that follows Tamburlaine's triumphal march. The most 
significant failure to order the material into a harmonious 
whole is to be seen in his treatment of Bajazet, where he 
falters and turns aside from the task of including in one 
poetic concept the desire of Tamburlaine * Lift upward 
and divine ' and the fate of this king ' So great, so powerful 
. . . and that night a slave '. It was not here for lack of 
leading from previous historians that he turned aside, but 
out of his own incapacity to look steadfastly upon both at 
once and perceive the deep foundations of a world order 
upon which both should equally be borne. The glories of 
the conqueror and of the conquered are not comprehended 
together by any minds but those whose reach well-nigh 
exceeds human might ; Euripides does not give us at once 
the apotheosis of Hellas and the destruction of Troy; 
Aeschylus himself achieves it hardly in the Persae. 

' . . . . Pauci, quos sequus amavit. 

' Juppiter aut ardens evexit ad aesthera virtus, 

' dis geniti potuere,' 

— the poets of the Oedipus Coloneus and of Anthony and 
Cleopatra. For such comprehension implies the perfect 
balance of high tragic thought, such interpretation of the 
matter of tragedy in life as leaves us poised between pity 
and understanding, midway between the world of men 
where cause and accident work in dissonance, to the frequent 
frustration of beauty and nobility, and that world from 
which the Olympians look down to perceive the hidden 
causes of things. * Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere 
causas ' ; Marlowe was never one of these happy souls. 
From the moment of his first uneasy perception — in vain 


postponed through the writing of the second part of the 
play — of the world of tragic possibility which lay about 
the glory of Tamburlaine, from that moment the sense of 
the inexplicable waste and pain of man's destiny was a 
burning torment to him, a misery that would not let him 
rest, and he exhausted himself in his attempts to compre- 
hend in his youth that mighty and complex system of man's 
destin}^ which Sophocles and Shakespeare seem only to 
have surveyed in their full maturity. 

This is the secret of the failure of Marlowe's tragedies ; 
it is no failure of purpose or of scope but rather of a mind 
that overreaches itself in its endeavours to include all and 
comprehend all, knowing that until this be done, no inter- 
pretation is valid : 

' Icare est chut ici, le jeune audacieux 

* Qui pour voler au ciel eut assez de courage.' 

and in the light of this knowledge the structural failure of 
Tamburlaine becomes the more interesting. We see Marlowe 
here for the last time possessing his exultation untouched, 
resisting the inrush of those thoughts that were ultimately 
to overwhelm it, rejecting for the moment what he could 
not comprehend, degrading the figure of Bajazet because 
he could not afford to let it keep its dignity. The play has 
been called formless and we have admitted this to mean 
that it does not interpret life by means of form. Upon a 
nearer view we are driven to the conclusion that the trouble 
is rather that it is arbitrarily formed, that instead of per- 
ceiving the half-concealed shape lurking in events and reveal- 
ing the inherent trend of fundamental law, Marlowe ap- 
proaches his subject with a preconceived law of his own 
and accepts from the material offered only such parts as 
confirm it. It is an unscientific method and one which 
Marlowe, already at heart possessed of much of the moral 
attitude of a great scientist, was almost immediately to 


Can we, finally, attempt to approach more nearly the 
mood in which Tamhurlaine was conceived, that mood 
which could not be prolonged to complete the later part 
of the play ; can we define at all the process of transmuta- 
tion by which the records set down above became the play 
which more nearly expresses Marlowe's untrammelled 
thought than any other single work of his imagination ? 
Can we, in the light of what has gone before, attempt to 
distinguish the material of the play, not this time from the 
form that material finally received, so much as from the 
spirit that informed it ? 

The main theme of the first part of Tamhurlaine, the 
part that catches the imagination most sharply and leaves 
the deepest impression, is too full of hard, clear colour, of 
the clash and jingle of armour and the beating of a tropic 
sun on burning metal to carry with it the implication of 
poetry, except in so far as poetry seems inherent in any- 
thing surcharged with energy and with exultation. The 
sources of the impulse whose apotheosis it attempts do not 
always bear investigation ; too much crude destruction is 
involved in the exaltation of this supreme and uncreative 
egoist. Beauty, we feel, is too often beaten down in the 
service of what is, after all, a lesser beauty, ' the sweet 
fruition of an earthly crown ', for the play to stand finally 
as a type of noble poetry. We may be deafened for a time 
by Tamburlaine's swift passion, so simply conceived, so 
clearly spoken, as his armies ' March in triumph through 
Persepolis ' on ' Brave horses bred on the white Tartarian 
hills ' the while he, its soul and its cause, still holds ' the 
Fates fast bound in iron chains '. But upon often pondering 
we demand something more. 

And something more is there, not germane to the main 
theme, often childishly at variance with it, but something 
without which Tamhurlaine would be only one of many 
plays that glorified power, wealth and conquest and held 
the eyes and ears of their audiences with thundering lines 


and astounding martial swagger and heroic gesture. With- 
out this other element, in which Marlowe saw the essential 
Tamburlaine (this element of poetic vision which, had 
it been the main quality of the historical Timiir, would 
have unfitted him for his career of conquest) we should not 
have in the poet of Tamburlaine the poet also of Faustus, 
Edward II, and Hero and Leander. For Marlowe is gloriously 
mistaken in Tamburlaine. The story he chose to hold his 
idea, the character in whom he thought to embody it, belong 
eventually to another world ; only youth and high spirits 
serve to carry their creator through the presentation of 
that career of earthly conquest. But if the story and the 
figure of Timur had, at his first meeting it, suggested this 
career and nothing beyond this to Marlowe, he would not 
have used them for his first play. We cannot but believe 
that Marlowe saw in the spirit of Tamburlaine secret springs 
of desire that were not there, or did not continue, in the 
historical figure and that could not co-exist with the career 
of Timur with which he invested his Tamburlaine. The 
true image of Marlowe's first conception is hidden perhaps 
even from the most sympathetic of his readers, for it gradu- 
ally faded even in the imaginative working out of the 
character and the career. But the sense of stir and expecta- 
tion in the great speeches of the earlier play all promise 
the discovery and disclosure of some profound truth of 
man's spirit, of some hitherto hidden source of his aspiration ; 
the capturing of an ideal, shadowy vision, part sense and 
part intellect, part thought and part emotion ; the revealing 
of some strange, inner significance beneath the outer event, 
an illumination irradiating the world with a sure intimation 
of immortality. It is then to the attempts to express this 
that we turn, and rightly so, for the most searching revelation 
of Marlowe as he was when he wrote Tamburlaine, no less 
than for the revelation of part of what he was to become, 
the poet of clear, tenuous vision in whose imagery the stars, 
through inevitable affinity, become natural and familiar : 


' Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend 
' The wondrous architecture of the world 
' And measure every wandring planet's course 
' Still climbing after knowledge infinite, . . .' 

these are the true theme of the play that Marlowe conceived 
and only partially carried forward from conception to ex- 
pression. The story of Timur, caught into the illumination 
of Marlowe's early vision, appeared to him for a moment 
fraught with inexpressible and hitherto unimagined sig- 
nificance. To explore the soul of Tamburlaine became all 
one, then, with exploring the sources of his own * desire, 
lift upward and divine '. 

And so it is Tamburlaine who ponders upon beauty ' with 
whose instinct the soul of man is touched ' and sees man's 
spirit ' Ever moving as the restless spheres ' and, though 
seeing neither cause nor end, is yet for a while content, 
like a lover with the object of his love. 

' Tu prends un arbre obscur et tu I'apotheoses ! 
' O Soleil ! toi sans qui les choses 
' Ne seraient que ce qu' elles sont ! ' 

Strange things fall under this illumination and go forth the 
apotheosis of their former selves ; myth and legend culled 
from an arid academic classicism take back some of the 
grace of the golden age ; Ovid, Virgil, Lucan, Cicero, Horace, 
Seneca — the whole range is wider still than this — all promise 
something beyond imagination ; the maps of the Italian 
and Dutch cartographers focus the light on strange places 
of the world where the lost secrets of man's destiny may 
be hidden, vast Groentland by the Frozen Sea, Samarqand 
in far Tartary, washed by the golden waves of Jaxartes, 
strange, untempted recesses of Africa ; above and beyond 
the world, the whirling universe of spheres, their movements 
imperfectly discernible through the complicated and subtle 
late Ptolemaic system, lead the mind yet further and further 
into unimagined countries and stir it to thoughts beyond 
its grasp. The same splendour falls upon them as upon 


the deeds of Tamburlaine and we, perceiving the splendour, 
are not always careful to perceive also the source from 
which it comes. It does not come from the story that 
Marlowe took to form the substance of his play ; it is not 
inherent in that world wherein ' a god is not so glorious as 
a king '. Rather is the world of conquest deceptively 
illuminated from that other world ' Clad in the beauty of 
a thousand stars '. 

If this, then, be the distinctive quality of the first part 
of Tamburlaine, that almost unbearable emotional illumina- 
tion, that rare glow derived from the momentary over- 
lapping of the freshness of youth and the richness of maturity, 
it is easy to see how little Marlowe owes to the theme of his 
pla}^, how much the theme owes to the moment. It is easy 
to see the contrast between the tone and spirit of the two 
parts, for the second part of the play gives us the story 
of Tamburlaine without the illumination shed upon the first 
part. The same, or nearly the same persons, the same or 
nearly the same events and episodes are there ; it is, in 
fact, substantially the same landscape, from which the 
splendour of that strange light is fading even while the 
poet works, lingering only upon the high pinnacles of thought 
or of emotion. The informing spirit has departed from this 
second play, and the story of Tamburlaine becomes again 
a story of conquest, rapine, bloodshed and violence such 
as the historians had set it forth ; a good stage version of 
Perondinus, Mexia, Bonfinius ' and the rest '. 



The date of the first production of Tamburlaine is, of course, 
unknown ; the references in Henslowe's Diary only cover 
the later period of its Elizabethan career. From these we 
learn, as Sir Edmund Chambers points out [The Elizabethan 
Stage iii. 421-2), that the Admiral's company produced 


* Tamberlan ' on August 28, (30), 1594, though probably 
only the first part ; that fourteen more performances of 
the first part followed before November 12, 1595, and that 
there were seven performances of the second part between 
December 19, 1594 and November 13, 1595.-^ A little 
light is thrown upon the staging of these productions by 
the inventories of the Admiral's men in 1598 which include 
among their properties ' Tamberlyre brydell . . . ' and 
among their apparel ' Tamberlynes cotte, with coper lace 
. . . Tamberlanes breches of crymson vellvet . . . ' to 
which we may probably add the ' j cage ' mentioned in the 
first group of properties. ^ As Professor Brooke remarks 
(see Vol. I of this series) Part I bears the marks of having 
been written for performance in inns rather than in regular 
theatres, but Part II, with its relatively more detailed 
stage devices, seems to belong to the regular stage, 

There appears to be no record of a later performance, 
though the constant reference to the play during the early 
years of the seventeenth century suggests that it must have 
been performed as well as read. After the Commonwealth 
even these allusions cease (see C. F. Tucker Brooke, The 
Reputation of Christopher Marlowe, 1922), and the place 
of Tamhurlaine is taken on the stage by the apparently 
independent efforts of Saunders and of Rowe. With the 
revival of interest in Marlowe at the beginning of the 
nineteenth century, the Jew of Malta was staged, but there 
was no attempt to produce Tamhurlaine. Nor, so far as 
I have been able to discover, was any such attempt made 
during the later years of that century or the early part of 
the twentieth, until the production of the play in an abbrevi- 
ated version by the Yale University Dramatic Association 
in 1919. 

1 That is, of Part I : Sept. 12, Sept. 28, Oct. 15, Oct. 17, Nov. 4, Nov. 27, 
Dec. 17, Dec. 30, Jan. 27, Feb. 17, Mar. 11 ; 1595, May 21, Sept. 15, 
Nov. 12, and of Part II : Dec. 19, Jan. i, Jan. 29, Feb. 18, Mar. 12 ; 1595, 
May 22, Nov. 13. (See Henslowe's Diary, ed. W. W. Greg, 1904.) 

2 See Henslowe Papers, ed. W. W. Greg, 1907. 



Mycetes, King of Persia. 

CosROE, his brother. 



Ortygius, )■ Persian lords. 



Tamburlaine, a Scythian shepherd. 

TeCHELLES, ) 1 ■ r 7j 

Usumcasane,} ^^^ Mowers. 
Bajazeth, Emperor of the Turks. 
King of Fez. 
King of Morocco. 
King of Argier. 
King of Arabia. 
SoLDAN OF Egypt. 
Governor of Damascus. 

mIgnetes,}^^^^"^^ ^''^'- 

Capolin, an Egyptian. 

Philemus, Bassoes, Lords, Citizens, Moors, Soldiers, and 

Zenocrate, daughter to the Soldan of Egypt. 
Anippe, her maid. 
Zabina, wife to Bajazeth. 
Ebea, her maid. 
Virgins of Damascus. 


Dramatis Personcs. 

This list is added by Dyce. It 

does not appear in the octavos. 

Mycetes. History does not record 
this king of Persia. In the index 
to Petrus Bizarus's Persicarum 
Rerum Historia the name Me- 
sithes occurs in a different con- 
nection. I have found no other 
trace of the name. 

CosROE. This name is again un- 
known among Persians contem- 
porary with Tamburlaine, though 
Chosroe or Cosroe is well known 
as a later Persian king. 

Tamburlaine. For the biogra- 
phies of Tamburlaine, see the 
Introduction. The most familiar 
forms of the name are Tamer- 
lanes, Tamerlan, Tamberlan, 

Techelles. This name is also 
mentioned by Bizarus and others, 
though not in connection with 
Tamburlaine ; it is that of a 
later warrior and is apparently 
used by Marlowe without refer- 
ence to its historical context. 

UsuMCASANE. This is the name of 
a later Persian king, which occurs 
not only in Bizarus (Usumcas- 
sanus) but in the later part of 
Mexia's (and consequently For- 
tescue's) biography, where he is 
said to be the founder of the 

Bajazeth. For the biographies of 
Bajazet, see the Introduction. 

Marlowe has here adopted the 
most common European form of 
the name. Others are Baiazith, 
Baiazed, Paiazetes (the Byzan- 
tine form). 

King of Fez, etc. The African 
conquests of Tamburlaine and of 
Bajazeth are seldom mentioned 
by the European historians, who, 
in any event, do not bring him 
west of Cairo. The names of the 
African potentates may easily 
have been the result of Mar- 
lowe's study of Ortelius's Thea- 
trum Orbis Terrarum (see Intro- 

King of Arabia, Soldan of 
Egypt, Both these are men- 
tioned by most of Tamburlaine's 
biographers, but in the European 
histories they are generally name- 
less, as in Marlowe's play. 

Zenocrate. The name of Tam- 
burlaine's wife does not appear 
in any of the European accounts 
of which only one (that of Chal- 
condylas) mentions her existence. 

Zabina. Bajazet's wife was the 
daughter of Eleazar, the Despot 
of Servia, referred to by Chal- 
condylas as the Prince of the 
Bulgars. Her title ' Despina ' 
may have been modified into 
' Zabina '. Miss Seaton (R.E.S.) 
suggests that ' Zabina ' may 
possibly be an attempt to repro- 
duce the Turkish form of the 
Greek ' Despina '. 


To THE Gentlemen Readers and Others that 
Take Pleasure in Reading Histories : 

Gentlemen and courteous readers whosoever, I have 
here published in print for your sakes the twa. tragical^ 
jiscourses of the Scythian shepherd .T ajubiiriaine. that^ 
became so great a conqueror and so mighty a monarchy 
My hop^is that they will be now no less acceptable unto 
you to read after your serious affairs and studies than they 
have been (lately) delightful for many of you to see when 
the same were showed in London upon stages. I have 
(purposely) omitted and left out some fond and frivolous 
gestures, digressing (and in my poor opinion) far unmeet lo 
for the matter, which I thought might seem more tedious 
unto the wise than any way else to be regarded, though 
(haply) they have been of some vain, conceited fondlings 
greatly gaped at, what times they were showed upon the 
stage in their graced deformities. Nevertheless now 
to be mixtured in print with such matter of worth, it 
would prove a great disgrace to so honourable and stately 
a history. Great folly were it in me to commend unto 
your wisdoms either the eloquence of the author that 
writ them or the worthiness of the matter itself ; I there- 20 
fore leave unto your learned censures both the one and 
the other and myself the poor printer of them unto your 
most courteous and favourable protection, which if you 
vouchsafe to accept, you shall evermore bind me to 
employ what travail and service I can to the advancing 
and pleasuring of your excellent degree. 

Yours, most humble at commandment, 

R. J., Printer. 


2. the two] this O4. 3. discourses] discourse O4. 5. they] it O4. 6, 7, 
they have] it hath O4. 8. were] was O4. 14. times] time Og. 16. mi;v- 
tured] mingled O3, O4. 20. them] it O4. 21, /^aye] leave it O4. 60/A . . , 
other] om. O4. 22. of them] thereof O^. 23. protection] protections O3, O4. 
24. accept] doe O3, O4. 27. humble] om. O4. 

To iAe Gentleman Readers etc. 

8-18. / Aayg omitted] What 
these ' fond and frivolous gestures ' 
were is now unknown, for no fuller 
reference or description of them 
has survived. Jones's remark may- 
mean that some actors' gag had 
crept into the acting version of the 
play between 1587 and 1590, or, 
less probably, that Marlowe had 
himself attempted to introduce 
comic matter other than that 
which still disfigures the play, that 
his printer judged unworthy of 
him. If we accept the former in- 
terpretation it opens the possibility 
of some of the surviving comic 
scenes and prose passages (see 
notes ad. hoc.) being, equally with 
those that Jones rejected, the 
results of play-house additions. 

28. Richard Jones was a printer 
and bookseller who was at work 
from about 1564 to 1602 ; he 
was admitted to the Stationers' 

Company on Aug. 7, 1564. He 
dealt largely in ballads and popular 
literature and seems on the whole 
to have been a reputable man. 
The title-pages of Oi O2 O3 bear his 
name, but that of O4, although his 
prefatory letter is retained, shows 
that a transfer had been made to 
Edward White, the bookseller, for 
whom Edward AUde printed it. 
In Arber's reprint of the Stationers' 
Register (iii. 702) it is stated that 
Richard Jones, then in partnership 
with William Hill, sold the business 
to William White in 1598. (Occa- 
sional entries in Jones's name occur 
after this date, but none after 
1602.) I cannot find a record of 
any transfer from William White 
(printer, working from 1 597-1 61 5) 
to Edward White, Senior or Junior. 
(For Richard Jones, see Arber, 
Stationers' Register ; R. B, McKer- 
row. Dictionary of Printers and 
Booksellers (1910).) 



The two Tragicall Discourses of mighty Tamburlaine, the Scythian 
Shepheard, etc. 


M ^' 







From jigging veins of riming mother wits, 
And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay, 
We'll lead you to the stately tent of war, 
Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine 
Threatening the world with high astounding terms 
And scourging kingdoms with his c®nquering sword. 
View but his picture in this tragic glass. 
And then applaud his fortunes as you please. 

Heading. — The two . . . Shepheard, etc."] The first part of the two 
. . . Shepheard etc, Og. The Tragicall Conquests of Tamburlaine, the 
Scythian Shepherd, etc, O3 O4. 

The Prologue. 

1-3. From . . . war] These 
lines contain Marlowe's manifesto 
to the stage tradition of his time. 
They do not actually prove, in the 
absence of other evidence, that the 
play is the first of its kind to use 
blank verse for the popular drama 
and determine nothing as to the 

relative dates of this play and of 
the Spanish Tragedy. They merely 
declare with what kind of popular 
drama Marlowe does not wish to 
be identified, Broughton refers his 
readers to the play of Cambises 
and to Hall's Virgidemiarum for 
corroboration of Marlowe's descrip- 






Mycetes, Cosroe, Meander, Theridamas, Ortygius, 
Ceneus, Menaphon, with others. 

Myc, Brother Cosroe, J find myself agriev'd ; 
Yet insufficient to express the same, 
For it requires a great and thundering speech : 
Good brother, tell the cause unto my lords ; 
I know you have a better wit than I. 

Cos. Unhappy Persia, that in former age 

Hast been the seat of mighty conquerors, 

That, in their prowess and their policies. 

Have triumphed over Afric, and the bounds 

Of Europe where the sun dares scarce appear lo 

For freezing meteors and congealed cold, .f) a i a4^« 

Now to be ruled and governed by a man X'" ^ '^ 

At whose birthday Cynthia with Saturn joined, ' \o-'H ' 

And Jove, the Sun, and Mercury denied --""— 

Act I. Scene i. O'-- ^••■'- '^^U^'AM^kt 

S=D. Menaphon] Add. Dyce, om. O1..4. , 9. Afric] Affrica O3 O4. '} j. A/l/OO / 

Act I. Scene i. standard history of Persia, to which ^ 

Mycetes . . . with others'] None both poets may have turned, 

of the characters who enter here 9— 11. the bounds of Europe . . . 

have historical prototypes, though cold] Darius, King of Persia 

for an abstract of the events set in 521-485 B.C., invaded what was 

train in this scene Marlowe might then Scythia (the district between 

have been indebted to Fregoso, the Carpathians and the Danube) 

Mexia, Perondinus or Primau- and Russia, where the frozen 

daye. See Introduction, Section steppes worked havoc on his army. 

IV. His empire extended into Africa 

6. Cosroe] The possible origin so far as to include Egypt and 

of this name has already been Cyrenaica. 

noticed. Broughton remarks that 13—15- Cynthia . . . brain] Mar- 
it is also used by Fletcher for the lowe's knowledge of astronomy 
Persian King in his Prophetess. seems to have been considerable and 
The work of Petrus Bizarus was the his knowledge of astrology not 



To shed their influence in his fickle brain ! 

Now Turks and Tartars shake their swords at thee, 

Meaning to mangle all thy provinces. 

Myc. Brother, I see your meaning well enough, 

And through your planets I perceive you think 
_ I am not wise enough to be a king : 20 

But I refer me to my noblemen, 
That know my wit, and can be witnesses. 
I might command you to be slain for this. 
Meander, might I not ? // 

Mean. Not for so small a fault, my sovereign lord. 

Myc. I mean it not, but yet I know I might. 
Yet live ; yea, live ; Mycetes wills it so. 
Meander, thou, my faithful counsellor. 
Declare the cause of my conceived grief. 
Which is (God knows) about that Tamburlaine, 30 
.That, like a fox in midst of harvest-time, 
. Doth prey upon my flocks of passengers. 
And, as I hear, doth mean to pull my plumes ; 
Therefore 'tis good and meet for to be wise. 

Mean. Oft have I heard your majesty complain 
Of Tamburlaine, that sturdy Scythian thief. 
That robs your merchants of Persepolis 
Trading by land unto the Western Isles, 

15. their] Dyce etc., hisOi_^. 19. through] thorough O^ Og. s^. Trading] 
Treading Oj O3 O4. 

severely separated in the sixteenth 32. flocks of passengers] the 

century from the orthodox science, travellers by the trade routes 

to have been little less. Here his through Persia. Several of the 

references are general rather than European biographers of Tambur- 

technical. I imagine the moon's laine insist that he began his career 

share in the make-up of Mycetes to as a robber attacking bands of 

have been giddy variableness and pilgrims and traders. 

Saturn's dull heaviness of mind, 37-8. merchants . . . Isles] Is this 

while the beneficence of Jupiter, a reference to the British traders 

the geniality or richness of Sol and or their Persian allies who crossed 

the keen-mindedness of Mercury Persia from the Caspian sea to the 

were denied. These are all, of Portuguese ports of Ormuz and 

course, the references of a sixteenth- Goa, the ports of entry for the 

century Elizabethan rather than India and China merchant fleets ? 

of a fourteenth-centur)' Persian, Persepolis] The ancient capital of 


And in your confines with his lawless train 
Daily commits incivil outrages, 40 

Hoping (misled by dreaming prophecies) 
To reign in Asia, and with barbarous arms 
To make himself the monarch of the East : 
But, ere he march in Asia, or display 
His vagrant ensign in the Persian fields, 
^ Your grace hath taken order by Theridamas, 
Charged with a thousand horse, to apprehend 
And bring him captive to your highness' throne. ^^ 

Myc. Full true thou speakst, and like thyself, my lord. 
Whom I may term a Damon for thy love : 50 

Therefore 'tis best, if so it like you all. 
To send my thousand horse incontinent 
To apprehend that paltry Scythian. 
How like you this, my honourable lords ? 
Is it not a kingly resolution ? 

Cos, It cannot choose, because it comes from you. 

Myc. Then hear thy charge, valiant Theridamas, 
The chief est captain of Mycetes' host. 
The hope of Persia, and the very legs 
Whereon our state doth lean as on a staff, 60 

That holds us up and foils our neighbour foes. 
Thou shalt be leader of this thousand horse. 
Whose foaming gall with rage and high disdain 

40. incivil] uncivill O3 O4. 54. How like]How you like O3. 58. chiefesf] 
chief O4. 

Persia. The classical cartographers laine, see C. F. Tucker Brooke, 

placed it on the Araxis ; the ruins Marlowe's Versification and Style 

still survive some 40 miles north- {Stud. Phil. XIX. 1922), p. 191. 
east of Shiraz. 50. Damon] The beloved friend 

42-3. Asia . . . East] With Mar- of Pythias (more correctly Phintias), 

lowe and his contemporaries Asia was a Pythagorean living in the 

frequently means the modern Asia time of Dionysius I of Syracuse 

Minor. According to modern and the history of the friendship 

terminology, Tamburlaine is already was a favourite with the Eliza- 

in Asia — indeed, hardly leaves it bethans who may have been 

during the play. familiar with it from the ac- 

46. On the occasional Alexan- count in Cicero, De off., Ill, 10, 

drine lines which occur in Tambur^ 45. 


'Have sworn the death of wicked Tamburlaine. 
Go frowning forth, but come thou smiling home, 
As did Sir Paris with the Grecian dame. 
Return with speed, time passeth swift away, 
Our Hfe is frail, and we may die to-day. 

Ther. Before the moon renew her borrowed light. 

Doubt not, my lord and gracious sovereign, 70 

But Tamburlaine and that Tartarian rout 
Shall either perish by our warlike hands, 
Or plead for mercy at your highness' feet. 

Myc. Go, stout Theridamas, thy words are swords. 
And with thy looks thou conquerest all thy foes; 
I long to see thee back return from thence. 
That I may view these milk-white steeds of mine 
All loaden with the heads of killed men. 
And from their knees even to their hoofs below 
Besmeared with blood that makes a dainty show. 80 

Ther. Then now, my lord, I humbly take my leave. [Exit. 

Myc. Theridamas, farewell ten thousand times. 

Ah, Menaphon, why stayest thou thus behind. 
When other men press forward for renown ? 
Go, Menaphon, go into Scythia, 
And foot by foot follow Theridamas. 

82. Theridamas] Therid. Oi_3. 

66. Sir] a characteristic medieval interchangeably by Marlowe. The 

and Elizabethan title, ' applied Scythians were actually at this 

retrospectively', as the N.E.D. time a branch of the Tartar race. 

says, ' to notable personages of Scythia for Ortelius is the district 

ancient, especially sacred or classi- along the north shores of the Eux- 

cal, history'; cf. Sir Hercules, Sir ine (Black) Sea, just west of the 

Pilate, Sir Aeneas. Chersonese (Crimea), but was also 

67-8. Return . . . to-day] It is by frequently used, as in classical 

lines such as these that Marlowe cartography, of the whole of 

occasionally surprises us. We per- Central and North-Eastern Asia, 

ceive in him a wider range of sym- Tartary in Ortelius's maps covers a 

pathy and imagination than is wide area of northern and central 

permitted free utterance by the Asia, but the medieval Tartar or 

severity with which he subordinates Mongul empire had extended west 

the minor tones of the play to its as far as to include a large part of 

main theme. Russia in Europe. 

71. Tartarian] The terms Tar- 77-80. That . . . show] The 

tar and Scythian seem to be used character of Mycetes is carefully 


Cos. Nay, pray you, let him stay ; a greater [task] 

Fits Menaphon than warring with a thief : 

Create him pro-rex of all Africa, 

That he may win the Babylonians* hearts, 90 

Which will revolt from Persian government, 

Unless they have a wiser king than you. 
Myc, Unless they have a wiser king than you ? 

These are his words, Meander, set them down, 
Cos. And add this to them, that all Asia^ 

Lciment to see the folly of their king. ., , .V 

Myc: Well, here I swear by this my royal seat — i^y^ 

Cos./You may do well to kiss it, then. 
Myc— Embossed with silk as best beseems my state. 

To be reveng'd for these contemptuous words ! 100 

where is duty and allegiance now ? 

Fled to the Caspian or the Ocean main ? 

What, shall I call thee brother ? no, a foe. 

Monster of nature, shame unto thy stock. 

That darst presume thy sovereign for to mock ! 

Meander, come, I am abus'd. Meander. Exit. 

Manent Cosroe and Menaphon. 

Men. How now, my lord, what, mated and amaz'd f^, CccJCi^sJ^'V^ 
To hear the king thus threaten like himself ? 

87, you] om. O3 O4. task'] om. Ojl_4. Add. Rob. etc. 89. of all] ofO^_^. 

studied. He combines the morbid up to the late seventeenth century. 

deUght of the non-fighting man in 90. Babylonians'] Babylonia had 

the evidences of battle with a been brought under the Persian 

delicate and fanciful but perverse rule by Cyrus in 538 b.c. (See 

love of fantastic effects. Petrus Bizarus, Hist. Rer. Pers. 

87, (task)] The early editions Lib. Prim., p. 16.) 

have all dropped the final word 107. mated and amaz'd] The 

here, Robinson and subsequent phrase occurs in Macbeth, v. i. 86, 

editors supply the word ' task '. ' My mind she hath mated and 

Tucker Brooke notes a MS. con- amazed my sight.' The word 

jecture ' feat '. Both metre and mated is derived ultimately from 

sense obviously demand some such the Persian ' mat ', ' helpless ', 

monosyllable. which comes into English through 

89. pyo-rex] here equivalent to Latin and Old French, being repre- 
Viceroy. Instances have been re- sented to-day in the phrase ' check- 
marked of similar usage in Nashe and mate' (Pers. shah mat). 


Cos. Ah Menaphon, I pass not for his threats. 

The plot is laid by Persian noblemen no 

And captains of the Median garrisons 

To crown me emperor of Asia. 

But this it is that doth excruciate 

The very substance of my vexed soul ! 

To see our neighbours that were wont to quake 

And tremble at the Persian monarch's name, 

Now sits and laughs our regiment to scorn ; 

And that which might resolve me into tears, 

Men from the farthest equinoctial line 

Have swarm 'd in troops into the Eastern India, 120 

Lading their ships with gold and precious stones, 

And made their spoils from all our provinces. 

Men. This should entreat your highness to rejoice, 
Since Fortune gives you opportunity 
To gain the title of a conqueror 
By curing of this maimed Empery. 
Afric and Europe bordering on your land, 
And continent to your dominions, 
How easily may you, with a mighty host. 
Pass into Graecia, as did Cyrus once, 130 

118. resolve] dissolve O3 O4. 121. ships] shippe Og. 130. Pass] Hast{e) 
O3 O4. 

109. pass not for] care not for. long the wealthiest province of 

117. regiment] government, rule. any Oriental nation that held 
Wagner compares Antony and Cleo- supremacy over it. 

patra, iii. vi. 95, 'And gives his 12 j-g. Afric ... you] A construc- 

potent regiment to a trull.' tion represented in Latin by the 

118. resolve] dissolve, melt. Cf. ablative absolute and in modern 
Timon of Athens, iv. iii. 442 seq. English by a form such as ' Since 
' Whose liquid surge resolves The .... are continent '. 

moon into salt tears ; ' cf. also A 128. continent to] touching, bor- 

Lover's Complaint, 1. 295-6. Mar- dering, bounding. Cf. Faustus, 

lowe uses the word thus repeatedly 343-4- ' He joyne the hils that 

in this play ; cf. i. ii. loi ; v. ii. 79, binde the Aff ricke shore | And make 

209, 398. that country continent to Spaine.' 

119. equinoctial line] either the 130. Cyrus] the founder of the 
celestial or the terrestrial equator. Persian Empire subdued the Greek 
The reference here is to the in- cities of Asia Minor, but it is 
habitants of the southern districts Darius who is associated with the 
lying about the equator who have invasion of Greece and the defeat at 
advanced north into Eastern India, Marathon in 490 b.c. The con- 


And cause them to withdraw their forces home, 
Lest you subdue the pride of Christendom ! 

Cos. But Menaphon, what means this trumpet's sound ? 

Men. Behold, my lord, Ortygius and the rest 
Bringing the crown to make you emperor ! 

Enter Ortygius and Ceneus, bearing a crown, with others. 

Orty. Magnificent and mighty prince Cosroe, 
We, in the name of other Persian states 
And commons of this mighty monarchy. 
Present thee with th' imperial diadem. 

Cene. The warlike soldiers and the gentlemen, 140 

That heretofore have filled Persepolis 
With Afric captains taken in the field. 
Whose ransom made them march in coats of gold, 
With costly jewels hanging at their ears, 
And shining stones upon their lofty crests. 
Now living idle in the walled towns. 
Wanting both pay and martial discipline. 
Begin in troops to threaten civil war. 
And openly exclaim against the king. 
Therefore, to stay all sudden mutinies, 150 

We will invest your highness emperor ; 
Whereat the soldiers will conceive more joy 
Than did the Macedonians at the spoil 
Of great Darius and his wealthy host. 

Cos. Well, since I see the state of Persia droop 
And languish in my brother's government, ^ 
I willingly receive th' imperial crown. 
And vow to wear it for my country's good, 

132. you] they O4. 133. Menaphon] Menaph. Oi_4. 135. S.D. Ceneus] 
Dyce etc. Conerus 0^_,^. 140. Prefix Cene] Cone O3 O4. 

fusion here may be due to Marlowe's 11. i. 395, ' How like you this wild 

incomplete memory of an account counsel, mighty states ? ' 
such as Bizarus (Lib. i. p. 15). 153-4. Macedonians . . . Darius] 

137. sto/es] persons of high estate The reference is to the victory of 

The same use occurs in King John, Alexander over Darius king of 



[act I 

In spite of them shall malice my estate. 

Orty. And, in assurance of desir'd success, i6o 

We here do crown thee monarch of the East, 
Emperor of Asia and of Persia, 
Great lord of Media and Armenia, 
Duke of Africa and Albania, 
Mesopotamia and of Parthia, 
East India and the late discovered isles, 
Chief lord of all the wide vasi: Euxine Sea, 
And of the ever raging Caspian Lake. 
Long live Cosroe, mighty emperor ! 

Cos. And Jove may never let me longer live 170 

Than I may seek to gratify your love, 
And cause the soldiers that thus honour me 
To triumph over many provinces ! 
By whose desires of discipline in arms 
I doubt not shortly but to reign sole king. 
And with the army of Theridamas, 
Whither we presently will fly, my lords. 
To rest secure against my brother's force. 

162. Emperor] Empeour O4 and of] and O^. 
169. Long] Prefix All, add O3 O4. 

168. ever] river O^ 

Persia at the battle of Issus in 333 


159. malice] Broughton and 
Wagner cite instances of this verb 
from Spenser, Daniel, Surrey, Ben 
Jonson, Wither and Marston. Com- 
pare Spenser, Faerie Queene, vi. 

9. 39-40 • 

' Who, on the other side, did seeme 

so farre 
' From malicing, or grudging his 

good home . . .' 
162 seq. Emperor . . . Caspian 
Sea] For the boundaries which 
Marlowe would assign to these 
territories reference should be made 
to Ortelius : Theatrum Orbis Ter- 
rarum ; Persici sive sophorum Regni 
Typus. The colouring there indi- 
cates the boundaries of Persia as 
extending from the western ex- 

tremity of the Caspian Sea, due 
south to the Persian Gulf and east- 
ward to include a large portion of 
the modern Afghanistan. Media 
(which appears more clearly in the 
map Europa) is the district between 
the northern reaches of the Tigris 
and the Caspian Sea. The extreme 
northern part of this district is 
(in the map Asia) called Armenia. 
The Parthia of the ancients was the 
district south-east of the Caspian, 
while Albania lay between the Black 
Sea and the Caspian. 

170. Jove may never] The con- 
struction here is paralleled by 
Dyce from the prologue to Flet- 
cher's Woman's Prize : ' Which 
this may prove.' Modern English 
would write ' May Jove never 


Orty. We knew, my lord, before we brought the crown, 
Intending your investion so near i8o 

The residence of your despised brother, 
The lords would not be too exasperate 
To injure or suppress your worthy title. 
Or if they would, there are in readiness 
Ten thousand horse to carry you from hence. 
In spite of all suspected enemies. 

Cos. I know it well, my lord, and thank you all. 

Orty. Sound up the trumpets, then. God save the king ! 



Tamburlaine leading Zenocrate : Techelles, Usumca- 
<^ SANE, other Lords and Soldiers loaden with treasure. 

Tamh. Come lady, let not this appal your thoughts ; 
The jewels and the treasure we have ta'en 
Shall be reserv'd, and you in better state 
Than if you were arriv'd in Syria, 
Even in the circle of your father's arms. 
The mighty Soldan of Egyptia. 

183. injure] injurie 02-i- 187. Prefix Cosy] GosyO 3. 188. Go^] Prefix^//, 
add O3 O4. 

Scene ii. 
S.D. other] and other O4. 

180. investion] The modern form Scene ii. 

is investiture or investment. For 4. Syria] appears as ' Soria ' in 

the form used by Marlowe the the second part of the play, and is 

N.E.D. offers only one parallel : shown by Ortelius {Turcicum Im- 

Lithgow, Trav., viii. 359 : ' The perium) to be the coastal district 

Turkes investion of it [Tremizen].' north of Judea. In the map Terra 

182. exasperate] the older form Sancta the Mediterranean at this 
of the past pai-ticiple (cf. Lat. point is called Mare Syriacum. 
exasperatus) where Mod. E. has the 6. Soldan of Egyptia] It is a 
weak form in ' ed '. piece of dramatic economy on 

183. injure] O2-4 read ' injurie ', Marlowe's part to make the wife 
also a common Elizabethan form of Tamburlaine the daughter of 
of the verb. The reading of O^ the Soldan of Egypt. The chief 
is retained here. wife of Timur seems to have been 



[act I 

Zeno. Ah shepherd, pity my distressed pHght ! 

(If, as thou seem'st, thou art so mean a man) 

And seek not to enrich thy followers 

By lawless rapine from a silly maid, lo, 

Who, travelling with these Median lords 

To Memphis, from my uncle's country of Media, 

Where all my youth I have been governed. 

Have passed the army of the mighty Turk, 

Bearing his privy signet and his hand 

To safe conduct us thorough Africa. 

Mag. And since we have arrived in Scythia, 

Besides rich presents from the puissant Cham, 

We have his highness* letters to command 

Aid and assistance, if we stand in need. 20 

Tamb. But now you see these letters and commands 
Are countermanded by a greater man, 
And through my provinces you must expect 
Letters of conduct from my mightiness, 
If you intend to keep your treasure safe. 
But since I love to live at liberty, 
As easily may you get the Soldan's crown. 

12. Media] Medea Oj Og. 
throw O3 through O4. 

Meda O3 O4. 16. thorough] thorow Oj Og 

a Tartar princess, according to 
many authorities, the daughter of 
the Great Khan. 

10. silly] helpless and harmless. 
A very common meaning from 
c. 1550 to c. 1675 ; it had not yet 
been confined to its modern mean- 
ing, although that use of the word 
also occurred. 

12. To . . . Media] The irregular 
metre here suggests that possibly 
some corruption has occurred. 
Cunningham suggested emending 
' my uncles ' to ' his ' and Brennan 
conjectured that the words ' of 
Media ' should be dropped. The 
route suggested by Zenocrate's 
words seems reasonable enough as 
the events of this scene are assumed 
to take place in some undefined 

part of Scythia or the territory of 
the extreme western Tartars. 

17-18. Scythia] here apparently 
the territory touching the northern 
parts of Media. Zenocrate's jour- 
ney makes a slight deviation to the 
north as the direct line south-west 
to Memphis would carry her 
through the dreaded and impass- 
able Arabian desert. Marlowe, in 
presenting Tamburlaine as a mere 
shepherd-robber so soon before his 
meeting with Bajazeth, follows, 
of course, the implications of the 
western historians and handles 
even them fairly freely. The his- 
torical Timur at the time of his 
western invasions was himself the 
supreme khan of all the Tartars 
in Western Asia. 


As any prizes out of my precinct. 
For they are friends that help to wean my state, 
Till men and kingdoms help to strengthen it, 30 

And must maintain my life exempt from servitude. 
But tell me madam, is your grace betroth'd ? 

Zeno. I am, my lord, — for so you do import. 

Tanpb: t am a lord, for so my deeds shall prove,? 
And yet a shepherd by my parentage. 
But lady, this fair face and heavenly hue 
Must grace his bed that conquers Asia, -.^ 
And means to be a terror to the world, ,.^ 
Measuring the limits of his empery 
By east and west, as Phoebus doth his course. 40 
Lie here, ye weeds that I disdain to wear ! 
This complete armour and this curtle-axe 
Are adjuncts more beseeming Tamburlaine. 
And madam, whatsoever you esteem 
Of this success, and loss unvalued, 
Both may invest you empress of the East. 
And these, that seem but silly country swains. 
May have the leading of so great an host 
As with their weight shall make the mountains quake, 
Even as when windy exhalations, 50 

Fighting for passage, tilt within the earth. 

28. precinct] province or govern- of kingdoms contributes to its 
mental area. Cf. Holinshed, CArow. prosperity. 

I. 57. i : ' Lord lieutenant of some 40. By . . . course] that is, by 

precinct and iurisdiction perteining no lesser limits than the whole 

to the Romane empire.' extent of the world. 

29. wean] develop, help to grow. 42. complete] frequently ac- 
A somewhat unusual use of the cented, as here, upon the first 
word. Emphasis is generally laid syllable. 

upon the things from which any- 45. success] event, result, un- 

thing is weaned ; here it is upon valued] here, as frequently, ' in- 

those on which the next stage of valuable '. Compare Richard III, 

its development depends. (But i. iv. 28 : ' Inestimable stones, un- 

cf. Lodge {Def. Plays), ' weane valued jewels.' 

thyself to wisdome '). The riches 47. silly] The use here is slightly 

that Tamburlaine has captured are different from that of 1. 10 ; 

friends that help to develop and ' simple ', ' lowly ' rather than 

strengthen his state until such ' helpless '. 
time as the acquisition of men and 



Tech. As princely lions when they rouse themselves, 
I ^Stretching their paws, and threatening herds of beasts, 
j^So in his armour looketh Tamburlaine. '\.^,..^ — - 

Methinks I see kings kneeling at his feet. 
And he with frowning brows and fiery looks 
Spurning their crowns from off their captive heads. 

Usum. And making thee and me, Techelles, kings, 
That even to death will follow Tamburlaine. 

Tamh. Nobly resolv'd, sweet friends and followers ! 60 
These lords perhaps do scorn our estimates. 
And think we prattle with distempered spirits. V 

But since they measure our deserts so mean, ' v 

That in conceit bear empires on our spears. 
Affecting thoughts coequal with the clouds. 
They shall be kept our forced followers 
Till with their eyes they view us emperors. 

Zeno. The gods, defenders of the innocent, 
Will never prosper your intended drifts. 
That thus oppress poor friendless passengers. 
Therefore at least admit us liberty. 
Even as thou hop'st to be eternised 
By living Asia's mighty emperor. 

Agyd. I hope our lady's treasure and our own 
May serve for ransom to our liberties : 
Return our mules and empty camels back. 
That we may travel into Syria, 

Where her betrothed lord, Alcidamus, ^^ 

Expects th' arrival of her highness' person. % 

Mag. And wheresoever we repose ourselves, 80 

We will report but well of Tamburlaine. 

Tamh. Disdains Zenocrate to live with me ? 

57. off] of O3. 67. they] thee O^. 

64. conceit] imagination, but im- us to liberty '. Cf. for a similar use 

agination seeking to express itself of ' to ', Coriolanus, v. i. : ' This 

in action. fellow had a Volscian to his 

75. ransom to our liberties] by mother.' 
metonymy, for ' ransom restoring . 


r iJ^-' \ 


Or you, my lords, to be my followers ? 
Think you I weigh this treasure more than you ? 
Not all the gold in India's wealthy arms 
Shall buy the meanest soldier in my train. 
Zenocrate, lovelier than the love of Jove, „ 
Brighter than is the silver Rhodope, ^^^' 

Fairer than whitest snow on Scythian hills. 
Thy person is more worth to Tamburlaine 
Than the possession of the Persian crown, 
Which gracious stars have promis'd at my birth. 
A hundred Tartars shall attend on thee, \i\ 

Mounted on steeds swifter than Pegasus. ^^ 'K^'P 
Thy garments shall be made of Median silk,' 
Enchas'd with precious jewels of mine own. 
More rich and valurous than Zenocrate 's. 
With milk-white harts upon an ivory sled 




'\ 1 .* 




87. love of Jove] love of love O^. 88. Rhodope] Dyce etc, Rhodolfe. O^.^. 
93. hundred] hundreth O^ O3 O4. 

88. Rhodope] The snow-capped 
mountains of Thrace. See Nicho- 
las Nicholay, [The Navigations . . . 
made into Turkey, chap. i. : ' the 
height and sharpness of the mount 
Rhodope, vulgarly called the mounts 
of silver, because of the silver mines 
that are there found.' This is the 
emendation of Dyce and subse- 
quent editors for the ' Rhodolfe ' 
of the early texts. 

92. stars] One or two of Tambur- 
laine's European biographers, not- 
ably Perondinus, dwell upon the 
comets and starry portents that 
accompanied Tamburlaine's birth 
and death (cf. especially, Peron- 
dinus, Cap. xxii). 

94. Pegasus] the mythical winged 
horse of antiquity, sprung from the 
blood of Medusa, conquered and 
ridden for a time Idj Bellerophon, is 
a commonplace with a generation as 
familiar with Ovid as was Marlowe's. 

95. Median silk] was certainly 
known in Venice at this time and 
from Venice probably found its 
way into North- West Europe. 


96. Enchas'd] Marlowe's use of the 
word seems to be without parallel, 
but it is not cited by the N.E.D. 
The phrase ' enchased with ' was 
common in the sense of ' adorned 
with ', but was confined to the 
adorning of metal with jewels, and 
I know of no other instance in 
which it is used, as here, of the 
embroidering of silk or other fab- 
rics. It would appear to be essen- 
tially a metal-worker's term. Cf. 
the regular use of I. iv. ii. 9. 

97. valurous] a rare and obso- 
lete word of which the N.E.D. 
cites only this instance. The use 
of ' valurous ' in the sense of 
' valuable ' is akin to that of 
' valourous ' in the sense of 
' worthy ' : 'Be their value ne'er 
so valorous Its held but base . . .' 
(J. Davies, Humours Heaven, 11. 

98. sled.] A parallel form to 
' sledge ' (perhaps deriving from 
M.L.G. ' sledde ' instead of M.Du. 
' sleedse '). 





Thou shalt be drawn amidst the frozen pools, 
And scale the icy mountains' lofty tops, 
Which with thy beauty will be soon resolv'd. 
My martial prizes, with five hundred men. 
Won on the fifty-headed Volga's waves, 
Shall all we offer to Zenocrate, 
And then myself to fair Zenocrate. 

Tech. What now ? in love ? 

Tamb. Techelles, women must be flattered. 
But" this is she with whom I am in love. 

Enter a Soldier. 

Sold. News, news ! 

Tamb. How now, what's the matter ? 

Sold. A thousand Persian horsemen are at hand. 

Sent from the king to overcome us all. 
Tamb. How now, my lords of Egypt and Zenocrate ? 

Now must your jewels be rest or 'd again. 

And I that triumphed so be overcome. 

How say you, lordlings ? Is not this your hope ? 



loi. resolv'd] desolv'd O4. 103. Volga] Vuolga Oi_3. Voulga O4. 104. 
Shall all we] Shall we O^. We all shall O4. 115. triumphed] tryumph O4. 

103. Volga] The three early- 
texts read Vuolga and O4 Voulga. 
Ortelius in his Asia and Russia, 
however, spells it Volga. In both 
these maps the delta is clearly- 
shown, though strictly- the epithet 
' fifty-headed ' should belong to the 
numerous sources and tributaries 
rather than to the mouths. ' Ca- 
put ' is, however, sometimes used 
by Latin writers to describe the 
mouth of a river, though more 
frequently- to describe the head- 
waters, and Marlowe may have 
this usage in mind. 

106-8. Techelles . . . love] Tambur- 
laine's reply is perhaps a little 
inept, but the manner of Techelles' 
question has abruptly dropped the 
tone of the dialogue. In order to 
perceive the rapid development of 
Marlowe's perceptions and expres- 

sion between his first and his later 
plays, we should compare this and 
other like passages in Tamburlaine 
with the similar dialogue between 
Isabella and Mortimer [Ed. II, 
11. 483 seq.). 

III. A thousand Persian horse- 
men] The exact number of the 
Persian horse sent against Tambur- 
laine is specified by Fregoso, 
Mexia, Perondinus and Primau- 
daye. See Perondinus, Cap. Hi 
(where he uses the same word 
' Dux ' as Fregoso) and Mexia : 
' Lo qual sabido por el Rey de 
Persia, embio un Capitan con mil 
de cavallo.' 

113. How . . . Zenocrate] Notice 
the metre, whose irregularity gives 
vigour to the speech and contrasts 
with the smooth sliding pictures 
of a moment before. 


Agyd. We hope yourself will willingly restore them. 
Tamb. Such hope, such fortune, have the thousand horse. 

Soft ye, my lords, and sweet Zenocrate. 

You must be forced from me ere you go. 120 

A thousand horsemen ! We five hundred foot ! 

An odds too great for us to stand against. 

But are they rich ? And is their armour good ? 
Sold. Their plumed helms are wrought with beaten gold, 

Their swords enamelled, and about their necks 

Hangs massy chains of gold down to the waist ; 

In every part exceeding brave and rich. 
Tamb. Then shall we fight courageously with them ? 

Or look you I should play the orator ? 
Tech.. No ; cowards and faint-hearted runaways 130 

/Look for orations when the foe is near. I 

(^Our swords shall play the orators for us. \ 
Usum. Come, let us meet them at the mountain foot, 

And with a sudden and an hot alarum 

Drive all their horses headlong down the hill. 
Tech. Come, let us march. 
Tamb. Stay, Techelles ; ask a parley first. 

133. foot] top O4. 

126. Hangs . . . chains'] The sions and uses may well evoke 

use of a singular verb with a plural more doubts than Marlowe implies 

subject is as common in Elizabethan here. 

English as it was with a collective 133. mountain foot] The first 

or neuter subject in classical Greek three editions read ' mountain 

and the other numerous instances foot ' but O4 reads ' mountain- 

in this play will not be noticed. top ', and is followed by Dyce, 

An alternative explanation of these Cunningham and others. Cun- 

forms is that they are survivals of ningham, at least, as a soldier, 

the Northern dialect. See Arden might have perceived that a moun- 

edition of Ant. and Chop., 3rd tain-top was no place to meet an 

edition, Preface. opposing army, whether already in 

128-32. Then . . . orators] Has possession or not. Wagner points 

Marlowe also here a sly reference to out that the change from ' foot ' 

Belleforest's exhaustive compila- to ' top ' may have been made in 

tion of Harengues Militaires, that order to avoid an apparent incon- 

immense volume into which he may sistency between 11. 133 and 135. 

already have looked ? A glance at The inconsistency is, as he says, 

Belleforest's meticulous classifica- more apparent than real. Most 

tion of the famous harangues of mountains have foothills at their 

history under their various occa- feet. 


The Soldiers enter. 

Open the mails, yet guard the treasure sure, 

Lay out our golden wedges to the view, 

That their reflections may amaze the Persians. 140 

And look we friendly on them when they come : 

But if they offer word or violence, 

We'll fight, five hundred men at arms to one, 

Before we part with our possession. 

And 'gainst the general we will lift our swords, 

And either lanch his greedy thirsting throat. 

Or take him prisoner, and his chain shall serve 

For manacles till he be ransom'd home. 

Tech. I hear them come ; shall we encounter them ? 

Tamb. Keep all your standings, and not stir a foot, 150 
Myself will bide the danger of the brunt. 

Enter Theridamas, with others. 

Ther. Where is this Scythian Tamburlaine ? 

Tamb. Whom seekst thou, Persian ? I am Tamburlaine. 

Ther. Tamburlaine ! A Scythian shepherd so embellished 
With nature's pride and richest furniture ! 
His looks do menace heaven and dare the gods. 
His fiery eyes are fixed upon the earth. 
As if he now devis'd some stratagem. 
Or meant to pierce Avernas' darksome vaults 

152, this] the O4. 

138. mails'] here, as usually, pendix D, Newton) which Marlowe 
trunks, baggage. disregarded when he came to that 

146. lanch] The four early texts part of his narrative. 

all read ' lanch ' and it seems pre- 154. Tamburlaine] The distribu- 

ferable to retain it here. The two tion of the line follows the four old 

forms ' lance ' and ' launch ' (some- texts here, though metrically, the 

times spelt ' lanch ' as here) in the word ' Tamburlaine ' should stand 

sense of ' cut ' or ' pierce ' were alone, for the line is complete with- 

both common. out it. 

147. his chain] The golden chain 159. Avernas] O^-^ frequently 
is referred to in 1. 126. There is read Avernas for Avernus and that 
here, perhaps, a vague memory of spelling is therefore retained. There 
Bajazet's golden chains (see Ap- is here, perhaps, a general memory 



To pull the triple headed dog from hell. i6o 

Tamb. Noble and mild this Persian seems to be, 

Jf outward habit judge the inward man. j 
Tech. His deep affections make him passionate. 
Tamb. With what a majesty he rears his looks ! — 
In thee, thou valiant man of Persia, 
I see the folly of thy emperor ; 
Art thou but captain of a thousand horse. 
That by characters graven in thy brows. 
And by thy martial face and stout aspect, 
Deserv'st to have the leading of an host ? 170 

Forsake thy king and do but join with me. 
And we will triumph over all the world. 
I hold the Fates bound fast in iron chains. 
And with my hand turn Fortune's wheel about. 
And sooner shall the sun fall from his sphere 
Than Tamburlaine be slain or overcome. 
Draw forth thy sword, thou mighty man at arms, 

166. thy] the O3 O4. 

of the line ' Spelunca alta fuit 
vastoque immanis hiatu '. {A en. 


160. To . . . heU] One of the 
twelve labours imposed upon Her- 
cules by Eurystheus was that of 
fetching from Hades the guardian 
Cerberus. In Homer and in Hesiod 
Cerberus appears as the ' dogs of 
Hades ', once (Hes.) with fifty 
heads. In Roman times the tradi- 
tional three heads seem to have been 
firmly established. There are two 
references in Ovid which Marlowe 
may well have known, the story 
of Hercules' descent to Hades to 
fetch Cerberus {Met. vii. 409 ff.) 
and the lines : 

' tria Cerberus extulit ora 
' et tres latratus simul edidit ' 
{Met. IV. 450.) 

163. affections'] ' feelings ', gen- 
erally. Cf. the more striking in- 
stance of II. IV. i. 177. Tambur- 
laine remarks upon the gentle 
nobility of the Persian's demeanour 

and Techelles, also reading the 
face of Theridamas, adds that its 
capacity for deep feeling argues a 
passionate nature. 

164 seg. Timur is described by 
most of his historians as an in- 
fallible judge of human character, 
and this episode, though it has no 
exact counterpart in their narra- 
tives, is in keeping with many such 
decisions actually made by the 
historical Timur. Fregoso, Mexia, 
Perondinus and Primaudaye all 
mention this conversion of the 
Persian captain by force of Tam- 
burlaine's words, but they gave 
Marlowe nothing more than the 
seed of the story. For Mexia's 
version see Fortescue (Appendix 
C), who follows him closely here. 

175. sun . . . sphere] Marlowe's 
astronomy is that of Ptolemy, not 
of Copernicus and, again, the 
system of Elizabethan England 
rather than of fourteenth-century 
Persia. Hence the orbit of the 



[act I 

Intending but to raze my charmed skin, 

And Jove himself will stretch his hand from heaven 

To ward the blow, and shield me safe from harm. i8o 

See how he rains down heaps of gold in showers, 

As if he meant to give my soldiers pay. 

And as a sure and grounded argument 

That I shall be the monarch of the East, 

He sends this Soldan's daughter rich and brave. 

To be my queen and portly emperess. 

If thou wilt stay with me, renowmed man, 

And lead thy thousand horse with my conduct, 

Besides thy share of this Egyptian prize, 

Those thousand horse shall sweat with martial spoil 190 

Of conquered kingdoms and of cities sacked. 

Both we will walk upon the lofty clifts. 

And Christian merchants, that with Russian stems 

Plough up huge furrows in the Caspian Sea, 

Shall vail to us as lords of all the lake. 

192. clifts\ cliff es O^- 

sun round the earth, believed to be 
a circle, is conceived as the generat- 
ing circle of a sphere. The spheres 
themselves, at this time ten in 
number, were transparent but im- 
penetrable, carrying round the 
heavenly bodies fixed in them in 
their movement upon a common 
axis, as Marlowe himself describes 
in Faustus (cf. II. ill. iv. 64-5 and 

179. Jove . . . heaven] The im- 
mediate protection and support 
of Jove upon which Tamburlaine 
relies in the first part of the play is 
subtly modified, as his megalo- 
mania develops in the second part, 
into something more nearly re- 
sembling an equal partnership. 

186. portly] Here, as usually, 
' stately '. Compare the use of 
' port ' as ' bearing ', ' mien ', of 
which the adjective seems to be a 
specialized development. 

187. renowmed] a common Eliza- 
bethan form from O.F. renoumer. 

and very frequent in this play. 
Cf. I. ii. 238 ; II. iii. 30, v. 6, etc. 
The modern form ' renown ' also 
current in Elizabethan English, 
has been assimilated to the sub- 
stantive ' renown ' from O.F. 



193-4. merchants] merchantmen. 
stem] here used, by metonymy, 
for the whole ship. Caspian Sea] 
One of the most convenient trade 
routes to the east involved a passage 
across the Caspian from the Russian 
to the Persian side. This couplet 
also occurs, with the alteration of 
one word, in The Taming of a 

195. vail] to lower the topsail 
in token of respect to a fort, flag- 
ship, etc. Cunningham has a 
pleasant note to the effect that 
' Marlowe was thinking of his 
native Cinque Port country and 
the narrow seas when he spoke of 
" vailing " . . .', though why a 
native of Canterbury in the six- 



Both we will reign as consuls of the earth, 
And mighty kings shall be our senators ; 
Jove sometimes masked in a shepherd's weed, 
And by those steps that he hath scal'd the heavens, 
May we become immortal like the gods. 200 

Join with me now in this my mean estate, 
(I call it mean, because, being yet obscure. 
The nations far remov'd admire me not,) 
And when my name and honour shall be spread, 
As far as Boreas claps his brazen wings. 
Or fair Bootes sends his cheerful light, 
i Then shalt thou be competitor with me, ''^''""^^^^i 
/ And sit with Tamburlaine in all his majesty. \ 
Ther. Not Hermes, prolocutor to the gods, 4 

206. Bootes.] Botees Oj Og. Bo-otes O3. Boetes O4. 

teenth century should be familiar 
with the Cinque Port coast is not so 
clear. It may be added that Mar- 
lowe nowhere shows a close know- 
ledge of seafaring terms or ways. 

196-7. consuls . . . senators'] 
Like many other Roman terms and 
allusions to Roman society, myth- 
ology and government that Mar- 
lowe puts into the mouth of 
Tamburlaine and other Orientals 
throughout the play, these are part 
of the European inheritance of the 
story. Penetrating and lasting as 
was the effect of the Roman Empire 
in the east, they would hardly have 
been part of the normal phraseology 
of fourteenth-century Persians, 
Tartars and Turks. 

198. Jove] Ovid, in describing the 

various disguises assumed by Jove 

to win the love of mortal women, 

has the following passage, which 

may have rested in Marlowe's mind : 

* Aureus ut Danaen, Asopida lus- 

erit ignis, 

Mnemosynen pastor, varius De- 

oida serpens.' Met. vi. 114. 

It is characteristic of Marlowe's 

power of transmuting his material 

that the disguise assumed by Jove 

in his less reputable adventures 

should here be paralleled to the low 
birth which hides or disguises the 
divine spark of genius in Tambur- 

199. that] used somewhat excep- 
tionally for the oblique case of the 
relative, ' by which '. 

205-6. As far . . . light] It is the 
northern limit of empire that is, 
as often, in Tamburlaine's mind. 
Boreas is the north wind and Bootes 
or Arcturus, the Bear, is a northern 
constellation. The line is a close 
translation of Ovid, Tristia, iii. x. 
451. While still at college Marlowe 
had translated Ovid's Elegies and 
fragments from many of the other 
works can be traced in the early 

207. competitor] here comrade, 
partner, rather than rival. Shake- 
speare gives the word the same force 
in A ntony and Cleopatra, v. i. 42 seq. : 
' . . . thou, my brother, my com- 
In top of all design, my mate in 


Friend and companion in the front 

of war.' 

209. Hermes] (Mercurius of the 

Romans) was the herald and 

messenger of the gods of Olympus 




Could use persuasions more pathetical. 210 

Tamh. Nor are Apollo's oracles more true 

Than thou shalt find my vaunts substantial. 

Tech. We are his friends, and if the Persian king 
Should offer present dukedoms to our state, 
We think it loss to make exchange for that 
We are assured of by our friend's success. 

Usum. And kingdoms at the least we all expect, 
Besides the honour in assured conquests, 
Where kings shall crouch unto our conquering swords. 
And hosts of soldiers stand amaz'd at us, 220 

When with their fearful tongues they shall confess, 
These are the men that all the world admires. 

Ther. What strong enchantments tice my yielding soul ? 
Ah, these resolved noble Scythians ! 
But shall I prove a traitor to my king ? 

224. AK] T.B. Are Oi_4. To, Rob.-Wag. As, [Qy.) T.B. 

and himself the god of eloquence ; 
hence Marlowe's ' prolocutor to the 
Gods ' . It is not quite clear whether 
Theridamas is using the word in 
its general sense of ' spokesman ' 
or in its technical, legal sense of 
* advocate '. Perhaps his meaning 
hovers between the two. 

210. pathetical] in the general 
sense of moving, stimulating to 
emotion or to conviction. 

211. Apollo's oracles^delivered in 
his capacity as the god of prophecy 
from the shrine at Pytho or Delphi 
(and from other shrines in Greece). 
Hence he is regarded as the patron 
and inspirer of all prophets (such 
as Cassandra in the Agamemnon). 
Perhaps the noblest use that has 
been made of this myth in modem 
literature is to be found in the pil- 
grimage to the oracle at Delphi 
to establish the guilt or innocence 
of Hermione in The Winter's Tale. 

Marlowe uses the word ' oracle ' 
of the utterance made from the 
shrine, not of the shrine itself, a 
usage which is also frequent in the 
classical writers. 

214. to our state"] here, as often, 
' for our state or position ', i.e. 
' should offer to raise us to the 
status of Dukes '. 

221. fearful] full of fear. The 
Elizabethan language could use 
both subjectively and objectively 
many words of this form which 
to-day have only an objective 

224. Ah,] The reading of the text 
is Brereton's conjecture, adopted 
by Tucker Brooke (Oxf. edn. 19 10), 
which seems both to fit the punc- 
tuation of Oi and to give us a pair 
of separate lines highly character- 
istic of Marlowe's style. In the 
absence of any evidence as to the 
source (MS. or print) of the text 
of Oj it is fruitless to conjecture 
too closely as to the origin of the 
error in the octavos. It may be 
acknowledged in passing that it is 
difficult to imagine the ' h ' of an 
Elizabethan English hand confused 
by any printer with the letters 
' re ' in the same hand. Tucker 
Brooke's conjecture ' Qy. As ? ' 
(Oxf. ed., p. 20) is pertinent. 


Tamh. No, but the trusty friend of Tamburlaine. 

Ther. Won with thy words, and conquered with thy looks, 

I yield myself, my men, and horse to thee : 

To be partaker of thy good or ill. 

As long as life maintains Theridamas. 230 

Tamh. Theridamas, my friend, take here my hand. 

Which is as much as if I swore by heaven. 

And caird the gods to witness of my vow, 
/ Thus shall my heart be still combined with thine, 
_ Until our bodies turn to elements, \ 

And both our souls aspire celestial thrones. 

Techelles, and Casane, welcome him. ~^ 

Tech. Welcome renowmed Persian to us all. 
Usum, Long may Theridamas remain with us. 
Tamh. These are my friends in whom I more rejoice, 240 

Than doth the king of Persia in his crown : 

And by the love of Pylades and Orestes, 

Whose statues we adore in Scythia, 

227. thy looks] looks O3. 238. renowmed] renowned O3 O4. 243. 
statues] statutes Oj Og. 

235. bodies turn to elements'] perfunctory than was his knowledge 

What Tamburlaine pictures is the of astronomy or mathematical 

disintegration of the body, after the science (cf. I. iv. iv. 96-100, 

soul has left it to pass on to celestial II. iii. iv. 4-9 and notes). Even 

regions, into the four constituent here Marlowe characteristically 

elements of which according to blends Aristotelian physic with a 

medieval physiological theories, reminiscence of Ecclesiastes xii. 7. 

not only man but all the universe 236. aspire] aspire to. As in 

was made ; earth, air, fire, water Hero and Leander : Sestiad II, 

being the constituent elements of Argument, 11. 7-8 : ' doth aspire 

the physical universe and bile (or Hero's fair tower and his desire .' 

melancholy), blood, choler and 242. Pylades] the friend of 

phlegm those of the temperament Orestes who followed him home to 

of man, both formed by a blending Argos when he returned to claim 

of the principles of cold, heat, his kingdom, supported him in the 

dryness and moisture taken two execution of Clytemnestra and 

at a time; the theory follows through the sufferings which fol- 

naturally from the study of Aris- lowed until the murder was ex- 

totle. Marlowe's physiology proves, piated. See Kesch-yhis Choephoroi ; 

upon examination, to have been Sophocles, Electra ; Euripides, Elec- 

purely medieval and Aristotelian, tra Orestes ; etc. 

untouched by the more advanced 243. statues] Wagner remarks 

thought of his time, shortly about upon the partly similar cases of 

to culminate in the discoveries of I. iv. ii. 105 and II. 11. iv. 140. 

Harvey, and apparently far mpr^ Jn both of these 1-3 read ' stature ' 



[act I 

Thyself and them shall never part from me, 
Before I crown you kings in Asia. 
Make much of them, gentle Theridamas, 
And they will never leave thee till the death. 

Ther. Nor thee, nor them, thrice-noble Tambur- 
Shall want my heart to be with gladness pierc'd, 
To do you honour and security. 250 

Tamb. A thousand thanks worthy Theridamas. 
And now fair madam, and my noble lords, 
If you will willingly remain with me, 
You shall have honours as your merits be : 
Or else you shall be forc'd with slavery. 

Agyd. We yield unto thee, happy Tamburlaine. 

245. kings] King O4. 253. will] om. O3 O4. 254. honours] herors O^. 

and O4 reads ' statue '. Probably 
in both cases (certainly in the 
last) the reference is to a statue, 
and the form ' statua ' is consistent 
with the metrical mould of the line. 
If this be so, we have in these two 
later cases a curious instance of 
misrepresentation due to sound 
rather than to orthography which, 
taken in conjunction with the 
similar problem of I. i. ii. 224 (see 
above), might point to a dictation 
error. On the other hand, the 
problem presented by the present 
passage rather suggests that this 
confusion was already incorporated 
in the source from which O^ was 
composed and that an additional 
misprint of ' t ' for ' r ' was added 
in Oi O2 though not in the later 
octavos. The reading of O3 O4 
here is not really supported by 
Bullen's reference to Ovid, Ex 
Ponto, III. ii. 95-6 : 

' Mirus amor juvenum, quamvis 
abiere tot anni 
' In Scythia magnum nunc quo- 
que nomen habet,' 

which is sufficiently general to 
apply either to the ' statutes ' 
(i.e. ordinances, codes) or to the 
' statues ' of Py lades and Orestes. 

Marlowe may also have in mind a 
general memory of the part played 
by Pylades and Orestes in Iphi- 
geneia in Tauris. 

244. Thyself and them] Modern 
English would write * thyself and 
they ', but cf. Abbott, A Shakespeare 
Grammar, § 214 and King John, 
IV. ii. 50 : 

' Your safety, for the which myself 

and them 
' Bend their best studies.' 

248-50. Nor . . . security] The 
construction here is unusual and 
Robinson suggested an emendation 
which is not necessary. I think 
the latter part of the sentence is an 
afterthought and explanatory : ' My 
heart shall be found lacking neither 
to thee nor to them — it shall not 
fail to be pierced with gladness, 
etc' See N.E.D. s.v. 'want' l.d. 
and cf. especially ' One whose good 
will hath not wanted to gratifie 
your grace with a better thing if 
mine abilitie were greater '. Eden, 
Treat. Newe Ind., Ded. (1553). 
An alternative explanation is * My 
heart will gladly be pierced (i.e. 
I will die) to honour or protect 
you or them ', 



Tamb. For you then madam, I am out of doubt. 
Zeno. I must be pleased perforce, wretched Zenocrate ! 


258. I . . . Zenocrate] Zeno- 
crate's feelings have not yet begun 
to undergo the change revealed in 
III. ii. It is an error to suppose 
that Marlowe is indifferent to the 
details of craftsmanship by which 
an audience is prepared for the 

emotions and events which are to 
play an important part in the 
drama, but he is inclined, especially 
in Tamburlaine, to make them 
unduly subtle and unobtrusive. 
It is his stage-craft that is at fault 
rather than his dramatic sense. 



CosROE, Menaphon, Ortygius, Ceneus, with other 


Cos. Thus far are we towards Theridamas, 

And valiant Tamburlaine, the man of fame, 
The man that in the forehead of his fortune 
Bears figures of renown and miracle. 
But tell me, that hast seen him, Menaphon, 
What stature wields he, and what personage ? 

Men. Of stature tall, and straightly fashioned, 
Like his desire, lift upwards and divine, 
So large of limbs, his joints so strongly knit, 
Such breadth of shoulders as might mainly bear 


Act II. Scene i. 

2. the] that O3. 

II. i. I. Thus . . . Theridamas'} 
In the interval between the Acts 
an alHance has been formed between 
Tamburlaine and Theridamas upon 
the one side and Cosroe, the in- 
tending usurper of the Persian 
throne, upon the other. The 
audience which has witnessed the 
last scene is able to appreciate the 
irony of Cosroe's assumption that 
Tamburlaine will remain his tool, 
placing his genius at the service 
of his overlord, 

3-4. The man . . . miracle'] This 
appears to be an allusion to the 
Mahometan belief in the secret 
signs of destiny which Allah writes 
upon every man's forehead, or 
possibly to the seal of Revelation 
vii. 3. 

7-30. Of stature . . . Tamburlaine] 

The magnificent description given 
by Menaphon owes little to any 
accounts of Tamburlaine except 
occasional phrases which seem to 
be derived directly from Peron- 
dinus (see Appendix D). Gran- 
ucci's does not seem to have 
given Marlowe any help. He omits 
from Perondinus's description the 
lameness of Tamburlaine and 
his wealth of beard. The beauty 
is Marlowe's own and also the 
Platonic suggestion that the body 
of Tamburlaine was but the image 
of his mind. 

7. Of stature tall] Cf. Per. * Sta- 
tura fuit procera ' . (See Appendix 

9. So large of limbs] ' Latus ab 
humeris et pectore,' ^tc. (Se.e 
Appendix D.) 


SC. l] 



Old Atlas' burthen ; 'twixt his manly pitch, 

A pearl more worth than all the world is placed, 

Wherein by curious sovereignty of art 

Are fixed his piercing instruments of sight. 

Whose fiery circles bear encompassed 

A heaven of heavenly bodies in their spheres. 

That guides his steps and actions to the throne 

Where honour sits invested royally : 

Pale of complexion, wrought in him with passion, 

Thirsting with sovereignty and love of arms. 

His lofty brows in folds do figure death, 

And in their smoothness amity and life : 

About them hangs a knot of amber hair. 

Wrapped in curls, as fierce Achilles' was. 

On which the breath of heaven delights to play. 


20. and^ with O^ Og. 

11. Atlas' burthen] The image is 
Marlowe's. Atlas the Titan is 
represented in mythology as sup- 
porting upon his shoulders the 
heavens and all the stars. Pitch] 
is defined by the N.E.D. (iv. 16) 
as ' A projecting point of some part 
of the body, as the shoulder, the 
hip ' and paralleled with this pass- 
age is Topsell's {Four-footed beasts) 
' When the shoulder point or pitch 
of the shoulder [of a hare] is dis- 
placed '. 

12. A pearl] This image seems 
hardly happy, but there equally 
seems no other interpretation than 
that of Dyce ; the pearl is the 

14-15. piercing instruments . . . 
fiery circles] Cf . Perondinus : ' oris 
truculenti . . . formidinem incutie- 
bant,' (See Appendix D.) 

15-17. Whose . . . spheres] I find 
difficulty in following Marlowe's 
metaphor here. Apparently the 
circles of Tamburlaine's eyes con- 
tain within their compass such 
compulsive power as is equivalent 
to a universe of propitious stars 
leading him to the throne by their 

19. Pale of complexion] This 
pallor of genius is Marlowe's own 

20. Thirsting with sovereignty] 
Perondinus elsewhere (Cap. iv) has 
a hint of this : ' Nam properanti 
insatiabili siti in regiones magis 
septentrionali plagae subjectas se 
ultro dedidere . . .' 

23. amber hair]. This is, of 
course, most improbable in a 
Mongol and Marlowe does not seem 
to have had an authority for it. 
Rather has he in mind — as he 
himself admits — the description of 
Achilles. The golden-red colour 
and the length of Achilles' hair is 
mentioned by Homer : //. i. 197 
{^av6ri KofXT)) and //. xxiii. 141 
{^avdi^v direKhparo xa^riji'). Mar- 
lowe's picture of Achilles with curls 
may be a reminiscence of Ovid's 
account of Thetis disguising him as 
a girl to save him from going to 
the war {Met. xiii. 162 ff.) and 
Statius's reference {Achilleid, i. 
611 ' cinxit purpureis flaventia 
tempora vittis ') may account for 
the ' amber hair ', so unlike a 
Tartar, and immediately followed 
by the comparison with Achilles. 



[act II 

Making it dance with wanton majesty : 
His arms and fingers long and sinewy, 
Betokening valour and excess of strength : 
In every part proportioned like the man 
Should make the world subdued to Tamburlaine. 30 
Cos. Well hast thou pourtrayed in thy terms of life 
The face and personage of a wondrous man : 
Nature doth strive with Fortune and his stars 
To make him famous in accomplished worth : 
And well his merits shew him to be made 
His fortune's master and the king of men, 
That could persuade, at such a sudden pinch, 
With reasons of his valour and his life, 
A thousand sworn and overmatching foes. 
Then, when our powers in points of swords are join'd, 40 
And closed in compass of the killing bullet. 
Though strait the passage and the port be made 

27. sinewy] Dyce etc. snowy O^.g. His armes long, his fingers snowy- 
white Oa. 

27-8. sinewy] O1-3 read ' snowy ' 
which seems unsatisfactory. Dyce 
proposed the emendation ' sinewy ' 
which has been since retained, the 
Oxford ed. reading ' s(i)nowy ' and 
thus indicating the probable stages 
of the corruption which concluded 
in the well-meaning amplification 
' snowy -white ' of O4. 

Perondinus has an interesting 
reference to the strength of Tam- 
burlaine's arms : * . . , valida erat 
usque adeo nervorum compage ut 
. . . Parthici ingentis arcus chor- 
dam lacertosis brachiis ultra aurem 
facile posset extendere.' Central 
Asiatic bows are of two kinds, 
those designed like the Persian 
to be drawn back till the right hand 
holding the string is level with the 
chin, and those which can be simi- 
larly drawn back level with the 
right ear. I am assured by an 
authority on these bows that con- 
siderable strength is needed to 
draw them at all and that no 
normal strength could draw them 

beyond the point to which they are 
designed to stretch. So intimate 
a detail of Tartar custom as this 
(which I have not found in any 
other source) suggests, as docs 
indeed much of his narrative, that 
Perondinus had an additional 
source of information sounder than 
the accounts of his predecessors 
in Europe. 

33. Nature . . . stars] Familiar 
terms from three different systems 
are here combined, as often with 
Marlowe ; Nature, the Natura 
Dea of the Middle Ages, the power 
that directed the material world 
and was the cause of its phenomena, 
Fortuna, the Roman deity of 
chance (in contradiction to the 
belief in the control of the Parcae), 
and the stars of medieval (and 
ultimately Oriental) astrology di- 
recting events by influence. 

42-3. strait . . . /«/(?] a reminiscence 
of ' Strait is the gate and narrow is 
the way, which leadeth unto life ' 
(Matthew vii. 14). 

SC. l] 




That leads to palace of my brother's life, 

Proud is his fortune if we pierce it not. 

And when the princely Persian diadem 

Shall overweigh his weary witless head, 

And fall like mellowed fruit, with shakes of death, 

In fair Persia noble Tamburlaine 

Shall be my regent, and remain as king. 

Grty, In happy hour we have set the crown 

Upon your kingly head, that seeks our honour 
In joining with the man ordain'd by heaven 
To further every action to the best. 

Cen. He that with shepherds and a little spoil. 
Durst, in disdain of wrong and tyranny. 
Defend his freedom 'gainst a monarchy. 
What will he do supported by a king ? 
Leading a troop of gentlemen and lords, 
And stuffed with treasure for his highest thoughts ? 

Cos. And such shall wait on worthy Tamburlaine. 60 

Our army will be forty thousand strong. 
When Tamburlaine and brave Theridamas 
Have met us by the river Araris : 
And all conjoin'd to meet the witless king. 
That now is marching near to Parthia, 




44, is] in O4. 

48. fair] The metre requires a 
dissyllable here . Words or syllables 
ending in ' r ' frequently vary in 
Elizabethan English and are valued 
as monosyllables or dissyllables 
according to the demands of the 
metre. Compare ' hour ' in 1. 50, 
which, in the early texts is signifi- 
cantly spelt ' hower '. 

59. stuff] has here the now obso- 
lete sense of to furnish support or 
money to a person. The word has 
depreciated since the late sixteenth 
century, when it could be regularly 
used in a serious and even dignified 
context. Cf. Romeo and Juliet, iii. 
V. 183. 'A Gentleman . . . Stuft 
as they say with Honourable parts.' 

63. the river Araris] Does Mar- 
lowe mean ' Araxes ' ? There are 
two rivers of this name, one on 
which Persepolis was situated, and 
the other in Armenia. Probably 
it is the second that is meant here. 
Ortelius marks it clearly, flowing 
east through Armenia into the 
Caspian Sea. Herodotus refers to 
the Oxus as the Araxes, which 
introduced a further possibility 
of confusion for the Elizabethans. 

65. near to Parthia] The Persian 
army is described as moving north 
towards the territory about the 
Caspian Sea. Marlowe is inten- 
tionally vague about the actual 
site of this unhistorical battle. 

96 THE FIRST PART OF [actii 

And with unwilling soldiers faintly arm'd, 
To seek revenge on me and Tamburlaine. 
To whom, sweet Menaphon, direct me straight. 
Men. I will, my lord. [Exeunt 

y r..r- .. SCENE II 

Mycetes, Meander, with other Lords and Soldiers 

Myc. Come my Meander, let us to this gear. 

I tell you true, my heart is swoln with wrath 

On this same thievish villain Tamburlaine, 

And of that false Cosroe, my traitorous brother. 

Would it not grieve a king to be so abused. 

And have a thousand horsemen ta'en away ? 

And, which is worse, to have his diadem 

Sought for by such scald knaves as love him not ? 

I think it would : well then, by heavens I swear, 

Aurora shall not peep out of her doors, lo 

But I will have Cosroe by the head. 

And kill proud Tamburlaine with point of sword. 

Tell you the rest, Meander, I have said. 

Mean. Then, having passed Armenian deserts now, 

Scene ii. 

7. worse'l worst O^ Oj O4. 

Act II. Scene ii. describes the position of the army 

and its previous line of march, 

I . gear] business, as often with which has been described by Cosroe 
the EUzabethans. Cf. Troilus and in the previous scene as ' marching 
Cressida, i. i. 6 : ' Will this gear near to Parthia '. The army of 
ne'er be mended ' and North Mycetes has passed the Armenian 
{Plutarch) ' whilest this gere was deserts and reached the foothills of 
a-brewing '. the Caucasus, or Georgian moun- 

3, 4. On, of] The two prepositions tains, where it has come into 

are used interchangeably to signify touch with the northern army of 

the direction or the object of the Tamburlaine. The district in 

emotion. which both armies are marching 

8. scald] mean, contemptible, lies, roughly, between the Black 
low. Sea and the Caspian Sea, The 

II. Cosroe] as usually, a tri- Tartar army, being in advance, 
syllable. has taken possession of the fast 

14-17. Then. . . am6Ms/j] Meander places in the mountains. 


And pitched our tents under the Georgian hills, 
Whose tops are covered with Tartarian thieves, 
That lie in ambush, waiting for a prey. 
What should we do but bid them battle straight, 
And rid the world of those detested troops ? 
Lest, if we let them linger here a while, 20 

They gather strength by power of fresh supplies. 
This country swarms with vile outrageous men. 
That live by rapine and by lawless spoil. 
Fit soldiers for the wicked Tamburlaine. 
And he that could with gifts and promises 
Inveigle him that led a thousand horse. 
And make him false his faith unto his king, / 

Will quickly win such as are like himself. 
Therefore cheer up your minds ; prepare to fight. 
He that can take or slaughter Tamburlaine, 30 

Shall rule the province of Albania. 
Who brings that traitor's head, Theridamas, 
Shall have a government in Media, 
Beside the spoil of him and all his train. 
But if Cosroe (as our spials say. 
And as we know) remains with Tamburlaine, 
His highness' pleasure is that he should live. 
And be reclaim'd with princely lenity. 

Enter a Spy. 

Spy. An hundred horsemen of my company, 

Scouting abroad upon these champion plains, 40 

15. pitched] pitch Oj. 24. the] that O4. 27. his king] the King O3 
O4. 28. are] be Og. 34. Beside] Besides O4. 38. S.D.] Add. Dyce. 
40. champion] campion O3. 

22. outrageous] ' fierce ', ' vio- struction more common in fully 

lent '. inflected than in relatively unin- 

27, false] to betray or go back fleeted languages, 

upon his word. 33. M^fi^ia] the north-eastern por- 

31. Albania] for the Ancients tion of the Persian Empire, in 
and for Ortehus is the district Ortelius immediately south of the 
lying along the west coast of the Caspian Sea. 

Caspian Sea, north of the Caucasus. 35. spials] espials, spies. 

32. Theridamas] a genitive in 40. champion plains] level 
apposition to ' traitor's ', a con- stretches of open country. 




[act II 

/ Have view'd the army of the Scythians, 
Which make report it far exceeds the king's. 

Mean. Suppose they be in number infinite, 
Yet being void of martial discipHne, 
All running headlong after greedy spoils. 
And more regarding gain than victory, 
Like to the cruel brothers of the earth. 
Sprung of the teeth of dragons venomous. 
Their careless swords shall lanch their fellows' throats 
And make us triumph in their overthrow. 50 

Myc. Was there such brethren, sweet Meander, say, 
That sprung of teeth of dragons venomous ? 

Mean. So poets say, my lord. 

Myc. And 'tis a pretty toy to be a poet. 

Well, well. Meander, thou art deeply read ; 
And having thee, I have a jewel sure. 
Go on my lord, and give your charge, I say ; 
Thy wit will make us conquerors to-day. 

Mean. Then noble soldiers, to entrap these thieves. 
That live confounded in disordered troops. 
If wealth or riches may prevail with them, 
We have our camels laden all with gold, 


42. make] makes O4. report] reports O^ O3. 48. teeth of] om. 

O3 O4. 

43-50. Suppose . . . overthrow] 
The picture which Meander draws 
represents fairly the armies of many 
eastern powers at this time, dis- 
tinguished rather for size than 
for organization or mobiUty. The 
Mongols, as Marlowe knew and as 
the lives of Tamburlaine unani- 
mously insist, gained their chief 
advantage by the strictness of 
their discipline and the excellence 
of their communication, transport 
and fighting organization. Timur's 
army was never seduced by spoils 
until the fighting was over ; the 
preparations of Meander, though 
reasonable enough, are foredoomed 
to failure. The transferred epithet 
which appears here in ' greedy 
spoils ' is rare with Marlowe. 

48. teeth of dragons] Cadmus, in 
the mythological accounts, after 
killing the dragon that guarded the 
well of Ares, sowed the dragon's 
teeth in the earth. There sprang 
up therefrom armed men who fell 
to fighting and slaying each other. 
There were five survivors, who 
became the ancestors of the Theb- 

54. And . . . poet] Even those 
critics who have denied Marlowe 
a sense of humour have not denied 
a biting irony which approaches 
near it. With this sly comment 
we can compare his later reflections 
upon the fate of Mercury and his 
sons, the poets {Hero and Leander : 
Sestiad I., 11. 465-482). 


Which you that be but common soldiers 
Shall fling in every corner of the field ; 
And while the base-born Tartars take it up, 
You, fighting more for honour than for gold. 
Shall massacre those greedy minded slaves. 
And when their scattered army is subdu'd. 
And you march on their slaughtered carcasses. 
Share equally the gold that bought their lives, 70 
And live like gentlemen in Persia. 
Strike up the drum, and march courageously, 
Fortune herself doth sit upon our crests. 
Myc, He tells you true, my masters, so he does. 

Drums, why sound ye not when Meander speaks ? 



UsuMCASANE, Ortygius, with others. 

Cos. Now, worthy Tamburlaine, have I reposed 
In thy approved fortunes all my hope. 
What thinkst thou, man, shall come of our attempts ? 
For, even as from assured oracle, 
I take thy doom for satisfaction. 
Tamb. And so mistake you not a whit, my lord. 
fFor fates and oracles [of] heaven have sworn 
VjTo royalise the deeds of Tamburlaine, 

72. the] om. O3 O4. 75. Meanderl Meand. Oj. Mean. 02-4. 

Scene in. 
Heading] Actus i, Scoena 2 O3 O4. 7. [0/]] Add. Rob. etc. om Oi_4. 

Act II. Scene Hi. note on that line. The use of the 

7. [of]] A word of one syllable has word ' heaven ' here suggests a 

fallen out in all the early texts. mingling of pagan and Christian 

Robinson's addition is adopted here. systems such as was common with 

' Fates and oracles of heaven ' may many of the Elizabethans but with 

be compared with 11. i. 33 and the none more than with Marlowe. 



[act II 

And make them blest that share in his attempts. 

And doubt you not but, if you favour me lo 

And let my fortunes and my valour sway 

To some direction in your martial deeds, 

The world will strive with hosts of men at arms 

To swarm unto the ensign I support. 

The hosts of Xerxes, which by fame is said 

To drink the mighty Parthian Araris, 

Was but a handful to that we will have ; 

Our quivering lances shaking in the air 

And bullets like Jove's dreadful thunderbolts 

Enrolled in flames and fiery smouldering mists 20 

Shall threat the gods more than Cyclopian wars ; 

And with our sun-bright armour^^ as we march. 

We'll chase the stars from heaven and dim their eyes 

12. To some] To scorne Og. 13. will] shall O3 O4. 

11-12. sway To some direction] 
means, I think, ' Prevail so as to 
give me some degree of control '. 

15. The hosts of Xerxes] Xerxes 
brought his army, said to be of 
fabulous size, against the Greek 
empire in 480 B.C. ; it was defeated 
and scattered at Salamis. For the 
Greek interpretation of the story 
we have the Persae of Aeschylus. 
But Marlowe is more likely to 
have read the tale in Herodotus or 
a derivative of his history. (Com- 
pare Herodotus, vii. 21. 43, etc.). 
Even so, some version has inter- 
vened between Marlowe and Hero- 
dotus here, supplying the more 
fabulous accompaniments. 

16. Parthian Araris] See 11. i. 63 
and note. The legend here referred 
to is given by Herodotus, vii. 21 ; 
but the river he speaks of as 
Araxes is probably either the Oxus, 
the Jaxartes or the Volga. Sir 
Thomas Browne {Pseud. Ep., Book 
VII, Cap. 18) reports the legend 
but does not name the river. 
Haytoun {Les Fleurs des hystoires 
de la terre D orient, Part v. ch. vii., 
Sig. Piv.) repeats the comment of 
Pius II on Tamburlaine in words 

which are close to Marlowe's 
lines : ' Les gens et les chevaulx 
de son ost en beuvant ont mys 
plusieurs grans fleuves a sec tant 
estoyt la nombre grant. II estoyt 
plus puissant que iamais ne furent 
xerses ne darius et se nommoit 
lire de dieu.' 

20. Enrolled . . . mists] Modern 
gunpowder was unknown to the 
Tartars, though various explosives 
approximating to it seem to have 
been used by Timur, The national 
weapon of most central Asiatic 
races is, however, the bow. The 
historians from whom Marlowe 
drew his account were more or less 
unaware of this fact, and he makes 
hardly any mention of it, drawing 
instead upon the accounts of 
Timur's use of siege engines and 
European armaments, which had 
accumulated as the story travelled 

21. Cyclopian] Marlowe identifies 
the Cyclopes, as do many classical 
writers, with the Titans, who 
attacked the empire of Jove. 
(See II. vi. 2 and note, and compare 
Homer, Od.. ix.) 


That stand and muse at our admired arms. 

Ther. You see, my lord, what working words he hath. 
But, when you see his actions top his speech, 
Your speech will stay, or so extol his worth 
As I shall be commended and excused 
For turning my poor charge to his direction. 
And these his two renowmed friends, my lord, 30 
Would make one thrust and strive to be retain'd 
In such a great degree of amity. 

Tech. With duty and with amity we yield 
Our utmost service to the fair Cosroe. 

Cos. Which I esteem as portion of my crown. 
Usumcasane and Techelles both, 
When she that rules in Rhamnis' golden gates 
And makes a passage for all prosperous arms. 
Shall make me solely emperor of Asia, 
Then shall your meeds and valours be advanced 40 
To rooms of honour and nobility. 

Tamh. Then haste, Cosroe, to be king alone, 

That I with these my friends and all my men 
May triumph in our long expected fate. 
The king your brother is now hard at hand ; 
Meet with the fool, and rid your royal shoulders 

26. top] Dyce etc. stop Oi_4. 31. thrust] thrist O4. 33. and] notOi^^. 
34. the] thee O3 O4. 40. meeds] deeds O4. 

26. top.] The old texts unani- thirst and was followed by several 
mously read ' stop '. ' Top ' was subsequent editors, 
suggested by Dyce and has been 37. Rhamnis] The early texts 
followed by subsequent editors, have the form Rhamnis (instead of 
including Wagner and Tucker Rhamnus), which is therefore re- 
Brooke, one of the few deviations tained. The reference is to the 
the latter editor permits from the temple of Nemesis at Rhamnus in 
text of Oi- The use of ' top ' in Attica. References to Rhamnusia 
this sense can be readily paralleled occur in Ovid, one of Marlowe's 
(cf. Hamlet, iv. iv. 89, ' So far he favourite classical authors, and it 
topp'd my thought '). is possibly one of these passages 

30. renowmed] see i. ii. 187 and that he has in mind here. (See 
note. Trist., v. 8, 9 and Metam., iii. 

31. thrust] the reading of O1-3 ; 406.) 
' thrist', of O4, Dyce emended to 

102 THE FIRST PART OF [actii 

Of such a burden as outweighs the sands 
And all the craggy rocks of Caspea. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Mes. My lord, we have discovered the enemy 

Ready to charge you with a mighty army. 50 

Cos. Come, Tamburlaine, now whet thy winged sword 
And lift thy lofty arm into the clouds, 
That it may reach the king of Persia's crown 
And set it safe on my victorious head. 

Tamh. See where it is, the keenest curtle-axe 

That e'er made passage thorough Persian arms ! 
These are the wings shall make it fly as swift 
As doth the lightning or the breath of heaven. 
And kill as sure as it swiftly flies. 

Cos. Thy words assure me of kind success. 60 

Go, valiant soldier, go before and charge 
The fainting army of that foolish king. 

Tanib. Usumcasane and Techelles, come. 
We are enough to scare the enemy. 
And more than needs to make an emperor. [Exeunt. 

48. S.D.] Add Dyce. 55. curtle-axe] Cutle-axe Oj Og. 64. enough] 
enow Og. 65. S.D.] Add. Rob. 

48. Caspea] The Caspian Sea. times also daggers, but not, as a 

55. curtle-axe] A European wea- rule, axes, 
pon again. The Scythian warriors 59, 60. sure . . . assure] Marlowe 

carried bows and swords, some- apparently scans these as dis- 
syllabic and trisyllabic words. 



To the battle and Mycetes comes out alone with his crown 
in his hand, offering to hide it. 


Myc, Accurst be he that first invented war ! 

They knew not, ah, they knew not, simple men, 

How those were hit by pelting cannon shot 

Stand staggering like a quivering aspen leaf 

Fearing the force of Boreas' boisterous blasts. 

In what a lamentable case were I, 

If nature had not given me wisdom's lore ! 

For kings are clouts that every man shoots at, 

Our crown the pin that thousands seek to cleave ; 

Therefore in policy I think it good lo 

To hide it close ; a goodly stratagem, 

And far from any man that is a fool. 

So shall not I be known ; or if I be, - 

They cannot take away my crown from me. 

Here will I hide it in this simple hole. 

Enter Tamburlaine. 

Tamb. What fearful coward straggling from the camp. 
When kings themselves are present in the field ? 

Scene iv. 
Heading Scene iv] Add. Dyce. 4. Stanch] Stand those O4. 

Act II. Scene iv. ,^- ^^XV \fl^ favourite meta- 

phor with Marlowe s contempor- 

1-5. Accurst . . . blasts'] The sym- aries, famiHar with archery, which, 

pathy and insight of Marlowe's encouraged by a measure of gov- 

study of Mycetes is never more ernment support, was still an 

clearly shown than in these lines. everyday pastime. The clout is 

The figure of Tamburlaine was not the central mark of the butts, to 

the only one that Marlowe was hit which is the aim of the archer ; 

capable of drawing at this time, the pin is the nail in its centre that 

though the mood of the weak, fastens it in place. ' To cleave the 

timid degenerate is necessarily pin ' is, of course, a triumph 

strictly subordinate in a play of achieved only by the highest skill, 

conquest and victory. References such as this to familiar 

^. those were] elliptic ]' thosewho objects of Elizabethan daily life, 

were '. which are frequent in Shakespeare, 

5. Boreas] The common Latin are rare in Marlowe, particularly in 

namefor the personified north wind. the earlier plays. 

104 THE FIRST PART OF [actii 

Myc. Thou liest. 

Tamb. Base villain, darst thou give the lie ? 

Myc. Away ! I am the king. Go, touch me not. 20 

Thou breakst the law of arms unless thou kneel 

And cry me ' Mercy, noble king ! ' 
Tamb. Are you the witty king of Persia ? 
Myc. Ay, marry, am I ; have you any suit to me ? 
Tamb. I would entreat you to speak but three wise words. 
Myc. So I can when I see my time. 
Tamb. Is this your crown ? 
Myc. Ay. Didst thou ever see a fairer ? 
Tamb. You will not sell it, will ye ? 
Myc. Such another word, and I will have thee executed. 30 

Come, give it me. 
Tamb. No ; I took it prisoner. 
Myc. You lie ; I gave it you. 
Tamb. Then 'tis mine. 
Myc. No ; I mean I let you keep it. 
Tamb. Well, I mean you shall have it again. 

Here, take it for a while ; I lend it thee, 

Till I may see thee hemm'd with armed men. 

Then shalt thou see me pull it from thy head ; 

Thou art no match for mighty Tamburlaine. [Exit. 40 
Myc. O gods, is this Tamburlaine the thief ? 

I marvel much he stole it not away. 

[Sound trumpets to the battle and he runs in. 

19 give] give me O4. 40. S.D.] Add. Dyce. 

23. witty] This word had a wider It is also worth noticing that this 
meaning in EHzabethan than in passage is in prose, a medium Mar- 
modern Enghsh. Tamburlaine uses lowe never ^.ppears to choose 
it here to mean sagacious and dis- willingly, and that it may therefore 
creet or, perhaps, intelligent and be a survival of those ' fond and 
capable. Either, applied to Mycetes frivolous gestures' of which Rich- 
caught in the act of hiding the crown, ard Jones ' (purposely) omitted ' 
is heavy and obvious sarcasm. some in setting up the text. 

28-35. -^y • ■ • k^^P *^] Mycetes, Whether these ' gestures ' were by 

perhaps under stress of a stage- another hand or by Marlowe's 

manager's demand for comic relief, under compulsion, we may be 

degenerates in this part of the equally sure they were no part of 

scene into a conventional imbecile. his original intention. 




Ortygius, Techelles, Usumcasane, with others. 

Tamh. Hold thee, Cosroe ; wear two imperial crowns. 
Think thee invested now as royally, 
Even by the mighty hand of Tamburlaine, 
As if as many kings as could encompass thee 
With greatest pomp had crown'd thee emperor. 

Cos. So do I, thrice renowmed man at arms ; 

And none shall keep the crown but Tamburlaine. 

Thee do I make my regent of Persia, 

And general lieutenant of my armies. 

Meander, you that were our brother's guide, lo 

And chiefest counsellor in all his acts. 

Since he is yielded to the stroke of war, 

On your submission we with thanks excuse. 

And give you equal place in our affairs. 

Mean. Most happy emperor, in humblest terms 
I vow my service to your majesty. 
With utmost virtue of my faith and duty. 

Cos. Thanks, good Meander. Then, Cosroe, reign, - 
And govern Persia in her former pomp. 
Now send embassage to thy neighbour kings, 20 

And let them know the Persian king is chang'd ... 
From one that knew not what a king should do 
To one that can command what 'longs thereto. 

Scene v. 

Heading Scene v\ Add. Dyce. ii. chiefest] chiefe O^. 15. happy] 
happiest O3 O4. 16. your] you O3. 20. embassage] Ambassage Oj Oj. 

II. chiefest] There is nothing 

Act II. Scene v. unusual in this double superlative 

8. Persia] should, as usually in form, and it is difficult to see why 

this play, be scanned as a trisyllabic the printer of O 2 should have 

word. wished to change it. 



[act II 

And now we will to fair Persepolis 

With twenty thousand expert soldiers. 

The lords and captains of my brother's camp 

With little slaughter take Meander's course, 

And gladly yield them to my gracious rule. 

Ortygius and Menaphon, my trusty friends, 

Now will I gratify your former good, 30 

And grace your calling with a greater sway. 

Orty. And as we ever aimed at your behoof, 

And sought your state all honour it deserv'd. 
So will we with our powers and our lives 
Endeavour to preserve and prosper it. 

Cos. I will not thank thee, sweet Ortygius ; 
Better replies shall prove my purposes. 
And now, Lord Tamburlaine, my brother's camp 
I leave to thee and to Theridamas, 
To follow me to fair Persepolis. 40 

Then will we march to all those Indian mines 

32. aimed^ and Oj O^. 
I O3 O,. 

33. if] is O2. 34. our lives] lives O^. 41. we"] 

24, Persepolis'] was not actually 
at this time a ruin ; it had been 
reduced by Alexander in 331 B.C., 
but was presumably to some 
extent rebuilt as it figures later in 
ancient and medieval history. 
None of the historians of Timur 
mention it among the Persian 
cities when describing his con- 
quests there — Bizarus {Lib. Duodec, 
p. 412) describes its ancient glory 
and destruction by Alexander — 
and Marlowe seems to have ele- 
vated it to a position which neither 
history nor his sources accord to it. 
For the full justification of this 
innovation we have only to read 
the lines 50-4 of this scene. 

25. expert] here slightly nearer 
to the original Latin meaning of 
' expertus ', passively used, than 
to the modern English ; ' proved ' 
rather than * technically profi- 
cient '. 

29. A metrically difficult line, 
best scanned as an Alexandrine. 

33. state] here, power, position, 
high rank. 

41. Indian mines] Darius I (521- 
485 B.C.) had originally annexed 
the gold-bearing country of Kash- 
mir and much territory about the 
Indus. It is not easy to say by 
whom, or at what date before 
Timur's coming, they were lost to 
the Persians. Persia fell under the 
dominion of Jenghiz Khan at the 
end of the twelfth century and 
from then to the death of Abu 
Sa'id (1335) was an Empire (paying 
nominal homage to the Khakhan 
in China) stretching from Egypt to 
the territory of Tagatai and from 
the bounds of China to those of 
the Byzantine Empire, A period 
of disintegration followed the death 
of Abu Sa'id, during which a large 
number of minor dynasties, Mongol 


My witless brother to the Christians lost, 

And ransom them with fame and usury. 

And till thou overtake me Tamburlaine, 

(Staying to order all the scattered troops,) 

Farewell, lord regent and his happy friends. 

I long to sit upon my brother's throne. 
Mena. Your majesty shall shortly have your wish, ! 
\t And ride in triumph through Persepolis. [Exeunt. 

^"""^ [Manent Tamb., Ther., Tech., and Usum. 

Tamb. And ride in triumph through Persepolis ! 50 

Is it not brave to be a king, Techelles ? 

Usumcasane and Theridamas, 

Is it not passing brave to be a king. 

And ride in triumph through Persepolis ? 
Tech. O, my lord, 'tis sweet and full of pomp ! 
Usum, To be a king, is half to be a god. 
Ther. A god is not so glorious as a king : 

I think the pleasure they enjoy in heaven, 
I Cannot compare with kingly joys in earth ; 
^-To wear a crown enchas'd with pearl and gold, 60 

Whose virtues carry with it Ufe and death ; 

To ask and have, command and be obeyed ; 

When looks breed love, with looks to gain the prize, 

Such power attractive shines in princes' eyes. 
Tamb. Why, say, Theridamas, wilt thou be a king ? 
Ther. Nay, though I praise it, I can live without it. 

48. Prefix Mena] Mean Og. 

and non-Mongol, rose and fell, 60-4. To wear . . . eyes] The 

until Timur united the whole again imaginations of Tamburlaine's fol- 

briefiy in the Timurid dynasty. lowers are pedestrian and literal 

It is this disturbed period, just beside the undefined aspiration of 

before the coming of Timur, that their leader. The dreams of Theri- 

Marlowe has chosen for the setting damas recall those of Richard : 
of the unhistorical events of the 

opening scenes of the play. ' How sweet a thing it is to wear 

59. in earth] (modern ' on earth ') a crown 

is common among Elizabethans ' Within whose circuit is Elysium 

and familiar to them as to modern ' And all that poets feign of bliss 

readers from the clause ' Thy will and joy.' 

be done in earth as it is in heaven ' (j Henry VI, i. ii. 29-31.) 
(Matthew vi. 9). 

108 THE FIRST PART OF [act ii 

Tamb. What says my other friends, will you be kings ? 

Tech. I, if I could, with all my heart, my lord. 

Tamb. Why, that's well said, Techelles ; so would I. 

And so would you, my masters, would you not ? 70 

Usum. What then my lord ? 

Tamb. Why then, Casane, shall we wish for ought 
The world affords in greatest novelty. 
And rest attemptless, faint and destitute ? 
Methinks we should not. I am strongly mov'd. 
That if I should desire the Persian crown, 
I could attain it with a wondrous ease ; 
And would not all our soldiers soon consent, 
If we should aim at such a dignity ? 

Ther. I know they would with our persuasions. 80 

Tamb. Why then, Theridamas, I'll first assay . 
To get the Persian kingdom to myself ; 1 
Then thou for Parthia ; they for Scythia and Media ; 
And if I prosper, all shall be as sure 
As if the Turk, the Pope, Afric and Greece 
Came creeping to us with their crowns a-piece. 

Tech. Then shall we send to this triumphing king. 
And bid him battle for his novel crown ? 

Usum. Nay, quickly, then, before his room be hot. 

Tamb. Twill prove a pretty jest, in faith, my friends. 90 

Ther. A jest to charge on twenty thousand men ? 
I judge the purchase more important far. 

Tamb. Judge by thyself, Theridamas, not me ; 

72. Casane] Casanes O^^^. 86. a-piece] apace Oi Og. 

72. Casane] obviously intended the Soldan of Egypt standing for 
here, though ' Casanes ' is the the chief empire of the African con- 
reading of O1-4. tinent ; the Emperor of Greece 

85. As if ... Greece] Tamburlaiine the surviving eastern Roman or 

names the four potentates whose Byzantine Empire with its seat 

submission would virtually make at Constantinople, 

him emperor of the world : the 92, purchase] here endeavour, 

Turkish emperor representing Ana- undertaking ; Theridamas has 

tolia, some of the western Black not yet caught to the full the 

Sea coast, the Levant, and several exaltation of Tamburlaine and his 

African Provinces ; the Pope being followers, 
the spiritual head of Christendom ;] TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT 109 

For presently Techelles here shall haste 

To bid him battle ere he pass too far, 

And lose more labour than the gain will quite. 

Then shalt thou see the Scythian Tamburlaine 

Make but a jest to win the Persian crown. 

Techelles, take a thousand horse with thee 

And bid him turn him back to war with us, lOO 

That only made him king to make us sport. 

We will not steal upon him cowardly. 

But give him warning and more warriors. 

Haste thee, Techelles ; we will follow thee. 

[Exit Techelles, 
What saith Theridamas ? 
Ther. Go on, for me. [Exeunt. 


CosROE, Meander, Ortygius, Menaphon, with other 


Cos. What means this devilish shepherd, to aspire 
With such a giantly presumption, 
To cast up hills against the face of heaven, 
And dare the force of angry Jupiter ? 
But as he thrust them underneath the hills, 

95. too] to Os O4. 97. the] this Og. lOo. him back]Rob. etc. his back 0^_^. 
103. and] with O4. 104. S.D.] Add. Dyce etc. 

Scene vi. 
4. Jupiter] lupititer O3. 

96. quite] repay or reward. Jove, described by many writers, 

106. for me] as usually, ' As far Ovid among them. SeeM5^i.i5i— 

as I am concerned '. 5. One line there comes near to 

Marlowe's phrasing : 

Act II. Scene vt. < Altaque congestos struxisse ad 
2. giantly] A rare adjective. The sidera montes.' 

more usual form even in Elizabethan There is a slight confusion here in 

English was' giantlike ', The refer- Marlowe's mythology. It was Ty- 

ence in this and the next two lines is phoeus who was buried under 

to the Titans and their war against Aetna, not the rebellious Titans. 

110 THE FIRST PART OF [actii 

And pressed out fire from their burning jaws, 
So will I send this monstrous slave to hell, 
Where flames shall ever feed upon his soul. 

Mean. Some powers divine, or else infernal, mixed 

Their angry seeds at his conception ; lo 

For he was never sprung of human race. 
Since with the spirit of his fearful pride, 
He dares so doubtlessly resolve of rule. 
And by profession be ambitious. 

Orty. What god or fiend or spirit of the earth 
Or monster turned to a manly shape. 
Or of what mould or mettle he be made. 
What star or state soever govern him. 
Let us put on our meet encountering minds. 
And in detesting such a devilish thief, 20 

In love of honour and defence of right. 
Be arm'd against the hate of such a foe, 
Whether from earth or hell or heaven he grow. 

Cos. Nobly resolv'd, my good Ortygius. 

And since we all have sucked one wholesome air, 

And with the same proportion of elements 

Resolve, I hope we are resembled. 

Vowing our loves to equal death and life. 

Let's cheer our soldiers to encounter him. 

That grievous image of ingratitude, 30 

13. dares] dare O3 O4. 

13. doubtlessly] ' free from the 25-8. since . . . life] A somewhat 

sense of doubt ', ' without mis- obscure passage. For the idea of 

giving '. Cf. Shakespeare, King dissolution after death we may 

John, IV. i. 130, ' Pretty childe, compare Tamburlaine's words, i. 

sleepe doubtlesse and secure.' No ii. 235. I take Cosroe's meaning to 

instance of doubtlessly in this sense be ' As we, being men, have all 

is given by N.E.D. resolve of] lived by breathing the same air 

' resolve upon ', ' set his mind and shall all dissolve at death 

upon '. The whole may be para- into the same proportions of the 

phrased, ' He dares resolve so un- elements of which we are made 

hesitatingly to rule and so openly up, I hope we are determined to be 

declares his ambition.' equally alike in our fates, whether 

17. mettle] in the general sense of of death or of life '. 
disposition, temperament. 


That fiery thirster after sovereignty, 
And burn him in the fury of that flame 
That none can quench but blood and empery. 
Resolve, my lords and loving soldiers, now 
To save your king and country from decay. 
Then strike up, drum ; and all the stars that make 
The loathsome circle of my dated life, 
Direct my weapon to his barbarous heart. 
That thus opposeth him against the gods, 
And scorns the powers that govern Persia ! 40 



Enter to the battle, and after the battle enter Cosroe wounded, 
Theridamas, Tamburlaine, Techelles, Usumcasane, 
with others. 

Cos. Barbarous and bloody Tamburlaine, 

Thus to deprive me of my crown and life ! 

Treacherous and false Theridamas, 

Even at the morning of my happy state, 

Scarce being seated in my royal throne, 

To work my downfall and untimely end ! 

An uncouth pain torments my grieved soul 

And death arrests the organ of my voice. 

Who, entering at the breach thy sword hath made, 

40. S.D.] Add Wag. etc. 

Scene vii. 
Heading Scene vii] Add. Dyce. 

32-3. And burn . . . empery] or ' limited ' by the stars, which 

Cosroe apparently means that consistently fought for him. Cos- 

Tamburlaine's ambition, thwarted roe, on the other hand, has reason 

by defeat, will destroy him by its to feel weary of his life, though the 

own fury, sentiment is a little unexpected. 

37. ' my ', the reading of O1-4 In support of the reading ' his ' 

is retained here. Collier suggested it may be noted that Cosroe is 

emending to ' his ', but Tambur- resolved (1. 7) upon the destruction 

laine's life was in no sense ' dated ' of Tamburlaine. 



[act II 



Sacks every vein and artier of my heart. 
Bloody and insatiate Tamburlaine ! 
< ^ Tamb. The thirst of reign and sweetness of a crown, 
O^ "ji That caused the eldest son of heavenly Ops ^DCturr^ 


To thrust his doting father from his chair, 
And place himself in the imperial heaven, 
Mov'd me to manage arms against thy state. 
What better precedent than mighty Jove ? 
Nature, that fram'd us of four elements 

Act II. Scene vii. 

lo. vein and artier'] Marlowe's 
knowledge of physiology, unlike 
his knowledge of pure or specu- 
lative science, seems, as has been 
said, to have been little more 
than is found in many of his con- 
temporaries. Vague foreshadow- 
ings of Harvey's conception of the 
circulation are not uncommon at 
this time, though they usually 
resolve, upon examination, into 
mere generalities. In Part II. 
IV. i. 178-9 Trebisond refers to 
' spirit, vein and artier ' feeding 
the heart. But neither passage 
suggests that the functions of 
veins and arteries are definitely 

13. eldest son . . . Ops] The career 
of Jove as described by Ovid and 
other story-tellers seems to have 
laid hold upon Marlowe's imagina- 
tion ; there are few episodes in it 
which are not touched on directly 
or obliquely in this play and no 
other passages of classical myth- 
ology seem to come more readily 
into his mind. It is, of course, 
peculiarly fitting to the story of 
Tamburlaine and to Marlowe's 
mood in this early period. 

15. imperial] The reading of the 
text is the modern equivalent of the 
form Emperiall of Oi_4 here and 
elsewhere, I think, however, that 
there is little doubt that this form 
does duty equally for the modern 
* empyreal ' and ' imperial '. Either 
meaning could be adopted here, 
but in view of the reference to the 
empire of Jove throughout the 
passage, I incline to the second. 

16. to manage arms] A common 
phrase at this period for waging 
war. See Part II. v. iii. 36 and 

18-26. Nature . . . never rest] 
The lines that follow form one of 
the most beautiful and perhaps the 
most completely characteristic pass- 
ages of poetry in Marlowe's work. 
They are the key not only to the 
spirit of Tamburlaine and to the 
mood in which the first part of 
the play is conceived, but to Mar- 
lowe's thought whenever it is 
occupied with the themes that were 
most significant to him. Physio- 
logically his man is formed, like 
Aristotle's, of four elements (see 
the note to i. ii. 235) which dispute 
with each other, in a perfect tem- 
perament, for supreme control 
(regiment). But, adds Marlowe, 
the fact that this warfare is a part 
of Nature's purpose and that she 
gives us so unquestionable evidence 
of it, teaches us that strife and 
aspiration should be the law of our 
spiritual being also. Then, ming- 
ling with this the Platonic concep- 
tion of the soul as the seed of 
divine potentiality in man, he per- 
ceives this element urging the same 
conclusion. Finally, Marlowe, the 
Elizabethan astronomer, the man 
who loved the movements of the 
stars more than the familiar sur- 
face of the earth, measures man's 
divinity by his highest achieve- 
ment : the comprehension of ' the 
wondrous architecture of the 
world '. As he watches the moving 
heavens that never rest, he per- 
ceives that there is, moreover, a 


Warring within our breasts for regiment, 
Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds : 20 

Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend 
The wondrous architecture of the world. 
And measure every wandering planet's course. 
Still climbing after knowledge infinite. 
And always moving as the restless spheres, 
Wills us to wear ourselves and never rest. 
Until we reach the ripest fruit of all, 
A/ That perfect bliss and sole felicity, 

"nF The sweet fruition of an earthly crown. 

Ther. And that made me to join with Tamburlaine ; 30 
For he is gross and like the massy earth 
That moves not upwards, nor by princely deeds 
Doth mean to soar above the highest sort. 

Tech. And that made us, the friends of Tamburlaine, 
To lift our swords against the Persian king. 

Usum. For as, when Jove did thrust old Saturn down, 

Neptune and Dis gain'd each of them a crown, 

So do we hope to reign in Asia, 

27. fruit] fruites Og. 

profound bond between their des- lowe's whole conception seems to 
tiny and that of the ' soul of man ', sink to that level, 
the one ' still climbing after know- 31-3- For he . . . soar"] The earth, 
ledge infinite ', the other also ever the heaviest of the four elements, 
moving. More than any other combining the properties of ' dry- 
passage, these lines of Marlowe's ness ' and ' coldness ' was typical 
recall those of Ptolemaeus : ' I of grossness and dullness of nature, 
know that I am mortal and em- Any man, Theridamas says, that 
phemeral ; but when I scan the moves not upwards led by an aspira- 
multitudinous circling spirals of tion such as Tamburlaine's, is 
the stars, no longer do I touch only a clod of earth, 
earth with my feet, but sit with 36-9. For as . . . Persia] The 
Zeus himself, and take my fill of rimes here are unfortunate but un- 
the ambrosial food of gods.' (J. W. deniable. There is no ground for 
Mackail, Select Epigrams from the assuming the passage to be un- 
Greek Anthology, iv. xxxii.) authentic. Neptune and Dis, the 
27-9. Until . . .crown] 'The rest', Poseidon and Hades of Greek 
says Mr. Havelock Ellis in a fine mythology, were the two brothers 
comment upon this passage, ' is of Zeus and shared the rule of the 
Scythian bathos.' Tamburlaine's universe with him (Poseidon gov- 
aspiration sinks, exhausted for the erning the sea and Hades the under- 
raoment, to repeat the interpreta- world), when the empire of Cronus 
tions his followers had put upon it (Saturn), and the older gods gave 
(see II. V. 60 and note) even as, in place to that of Zeus, 
the second part of the play, Mar- 



[act II 


If Tamburlaine be plac'd in Persia. 

Cos. The strangest men that ever nature made ! 40 

I know not how to take their tyrannies. 
My bloodless body waxeth chill and cold ; 
And with my blood my life slides through my wound ; 
My soul begins to take her flight to hell, 
And summons all my senses to depart ; 
The heat and moisture which did feed each other, 
For want of nourishment to feed them both, 
Is dry and cold ; and now doth ghastly death 
With greedy talents gripe my bleeding heart, 
And like a harpy tires on my life. 50 

tjiK jTheridamas and Tamburlaine, I die : 

And fearful vengeance light upon you both ! 

[Tamburlaine takes the crown, and puts it on. 

Tamh. Not all the curses which the furies breathe 
Shall make me leave so rich a prize as this. 
Theridamas, Techelles, and the rest. 
Who think you now is king of Persia ? 

42. chiW] child O3. 50. harpy] Harpyr Oj O3 Harper O4. 52. S.D. 
Tamburlaine] Dyce etc. He Oi_4. 53. the furies] thy furies Og. 

44-5. My soul . . . depart] An in- 
teresting passage, if only for the 
conception of the senses (as in 
Aristotelian philosophy) as pro- 
perties of the soul and not of the 
body. Marlowe is not consistent, 
in this play, in the accounts he 
gives of this relationship. 

46-8. The heat . . . cold] Blood, 
the element which combines the 
properties of moisture and heat, 
being removed, the balance of the 
' temperament ' or constitution is 
destroyed and only the properties 
of cold and dryness, those of the 
melancholy humour in the constitu- 
tion of man, and of the earth in the 
material universe, remain. 

48. Is] Dyce and some subse- 
quent editors have emended to 
' Are '. There is no need for a 
correction ; a singular verb with 
two cognate subjects is good Eliza- 
bethan English. 

49. talents] tallents, the read- 
ing of O1-4, is a usual spelling for 
' talons '. The confusion between 
the two words was so general that 
Shakespeare in Love's Labour's Lost 
(iv. ii. 65) puns upon it : ' If a 
talent be a claw, look how he claws 
him with a talent.' 

50. harpy] Marlowe probably has 
in mind the Harpies of later 
mythology, winged birdlike mon- 
sters with the faces of women, who 
were sent to torment Phineus by 
seizing upon and bearing off his 
food before he could eat it. (Com- 
pare Aen., III. 210 seq. ; Metam., 
VII. 4, Fasti VI. 132, all of which 
were probably familiar to Marlowe.) 
tires] is dissyllabic. (O4 reads 
' tyers '.) The term was a common 
one in falconry and means to seize 
upon and tear a prey. 


All. Tamburlaine ! Tamburlaine ! 

Tamb. Though Mars himself, the angry god of arms. 
And all the earthly potentates conspire 

To dispossess me of this diadem, 60 | 

Yet will I wear it in despite of them, I 

As great commander of this eastern world, i 

If you but say that Tamburlaine shall reign. j 

All. Long live Tamburlaine, and reign in Asia ! 1 

Tamb. So ; now it is more surer on my head ,1 

Than if the gods had held a parliament, t 

And all pronounc'd me king of Persia. [Exeunt. \ 

Finis Actus 2 

67. S.D.] Add. Rob. etc. 

65. more surer] The double com- English as the double superlative 
parative is as good Elizabethan in ' chiefest ' noted above. 



Bajazeth, the Kings of Fez, Morocco, and Argier, with 

others, in great pomp. 

Baj. Great kings of Barbary, and my portly bassoes, 
We hear the Tartars and the eastern thieves, 
Under the conduct of one Tamburlaine, 
Presume a bickering with your emperor, 
And thinks to rouse us from our dreadful siege 
Of the famous Grecian Constantinople. 
You know our army is invincible ; 
As many circumcised Turks we have, 
And warlike bands of Christians renied. 
As hath the ocean or the Terrene sea lo 

Act III. Scene i. 

Fez, Morocco, and Argier] These 
kingdoms are all marked by Orte- 
lius along the north coast of 
Africa ; together they make up, 
as Marlowe notes, the district 
known generally as Barbary. 

I. portly'] See i. ii. i86 and note. 

4. bickering] here used in the 
older sense of skirmish or battle, 
though the word also occurs among 
Marlowe's contemporaries in the 
more common modern sense of 
wrangling or altercation. 

6. Grecian Constantinople] Mar- 
lowe makes little of the siege of 
Constantinople by Bajazet, but it 
occupies an important part in the 
writings of the historians, especi- 
ally of the Byzantines, The inter- 
vention of Timur, which post- 
poned the fall of Constantinople 
for some 50 years, seems, according 
to the majority of these, to have 

been brought about by appeals 
from the Greek and neighbouring 
princes whom Bajazet had op- 
pressed and who turned to Timur, 
the emperor of the East, for pro- 
tection. Marlowe, in placing the 
conflict with Bajazet in Tambur- 
laine's youth instead of at the end 
of his life, has necessarily modified 
this part of the story. 

9. Christians renied] apostates, 
those who have ' renayed ' (O.F. 
renier, pop. L. renegare) their 
faith. Compare Nicholay's ac- 
count of the Christians forced into 
the service of the Algerian Turks, 
III, iii. 1. 55 n. 

10. Terrene] frequently used by 
Marlowe and by Ortelius for Medi- 
terranean. The springs or full 
tides, which set in with the waxing 
of the moon and come to their 
height at the full moon, do not 
indicate, as Marlowe suggests, a 


SC. l] 



Small drops of water when the moon begins 
To join in one her semicircled horns : 
Yet would we not be brav'd with foreign power. 
Nor raise our siege before the Grecians yield. 
Or breathless lie before the city-walls. 

Fez. Renowmed emperor and mighty general. 
What if you sent the bassoes of your guard 
To charge him to remain in Asia, 
Or else to threaten death and deadly arms 
As from the mouth of mighty Bajazeth ? 20 

Baj. Hie thee, my basso, fast to Persia. 

Tell him thy lord, the Turkish emperor. 
Dread lord of Afric, Europe and Asia, 
Great king and conqueror of Grsecia, 
The ocean, Terrene, and the coal-black sea, 
The high and highest monarch of the world. 
Wills and commands (for say not I entreat), 
Not once to set his foot in Africa, 
Or spread his colours in Graecia, 

Act III. Scene i. 
21. basso] Brother O^. 26. highest] higestOi- 2S. Not] Nor O^. in]onO/^. 

greater quantity of water in the sea 
but a stronger movement of the 
tides and a greater contrast be- 
tween the levels of ebb and flow. 
Even so, the Mediterranean is not 
a good example of a sea thus in- 
fluenced by the moon, as its tides 
are very slight. 

14. the Grecians] here, the in- 
habitants of Constantinople under 
the Emperor Manuel Paleologus, 
the ruler, at the time of Bajazet's 
siege, of the Byzantine Empire, 
the surviving portion of the East- 
em Roman Empire. 

18-20. To charge . . . Bajazeth] 
This was in effect done by the his- 
torical Timur, according to many 
of the accounts of his war with 
Bajazet. The provocative reply 
that Bajazet sent brought upon 
him the succeeding disasters. 

23-6. Dread lord . . . world] Ba- 

jazet assumes a number of titles to 
which he had but a slight and 
nominal claim, just as the historical 
Bajazet seems to have embarked 
upon a career of deliberate aggran- 
disement. He was the fourth Em- 
peror of the Turks, the son of Amu- 
rath, inheriting as the nucleus of his 
Empire Natolia (Anatolia or Asia 
Minor). His lordship over Africa 
consisted in a doubtful control of 
Egypt and of Barbary, of Europe 
in a footing in northern Greece and 
part of the area north of the Black 
Sea, of Asia (apart from Natolia) 
in a still more doubtful control of 
the Levant, the Persian kingdom 
and its adjuncts, and a territory 
with vague boundaries stretching 
back towards India. 

29. Or . . . Gri^cia] This line 
apparently lacks a stressed syllable 
after ' colours ', or an unstressed 

118 THE FIRST PART OF [act m 

Lest he incur the fury of my wrath. 30 

Tell him I am content to take a truce, 

Because I hear he bears a valiant mind ; 

But if, presuming on his silly power. 

He be so mad to manage arms with me. 

Then stay thou with him, say I bid thee so. 

And if, before the sun have measured heaven 

With triple circuit, thou regreet us not. 

We mean to take his morning's next arise 

For messenger he will not be reclaim'd. 

And mean to fetch thee in despite of him. 40 

Bass. Most great and puissant monarch of the earth. 
Your basso will accomplish your behest, 
And shew your pleasure to the Persian, 
As fits the legate of the stately Turk. [Exit Bass. 

Arg. They say he is the king of Persia ; 

But, if he dare attempt to stir your siege, 
'Twere requisite he should be ten times more, 
For all flesh quakes at your magnificence. 

Baj. True, Argier, and tremble at my looks. 

Mor. The spring is hindered by your smothering host ; 50 
For neither rain can fall upon the earth. 
Nor sun reflex his virtuous beams thereon, 
The ground is mantled with such multitudes. 

Baj. All this is true as holy Mahomet ; 

And all the trees are blasted with our breaths. 

Fez. What thinks your greatness best to be achieved 
In pursuit of the city's overthrow ? 

36. heaven] the heaven O3 O4. 

after 'in'. Cunningham suggested 50-5. The spying . . . breaths] 

reading ' colours forth ', Elze ' into ' For the hyperboles indulged in by 

for ' in 'and Wagner ' over 'for ' in ', Bajazet and his followers we may 

33, silly] inexpert, untrained, as compare the fabulous accounts of 

in I. ii. 47. the armies of Xerxes with which 

49. tremble] the reading of O1-4. Marlowe has already shown himself 

Dyce and many editors after him familiar. Cf. II. iii. 15 and 16 

read, more grammatically, ' trem- and notes, 
bles '. 


Baj. I will the captive pioners of Argier 
Cut off the water that by leaden pipes 
Runs to the city from the mountain Carnon ; 60 

Two thousand horse shall forage up and down, 
That no relief or succour come by land, 
And all the sea my galleys countermand. 
Then shall our footmen lie within the trench. 
And with their cannons, mouth'd like Orcus' gulf. 
Batter the walls, and we will enter in ; 
And thus the Grecians shall be conquered. [Exeunt. 


Agydas, Zenocrate, Anippe, with others. 

Agyd. Madam Zenocrate, may I presume 
To know the cause of these unquiet fits 
That work such trouble to your wonted rest ? 
Tis more than pity such a heavenly face 
Should by heart's sorrow wax so wan and pale. 

Scene ii. 
I. Prefix Agyd.] Rob. etc. om. O^-i- 

58-67. / will . . . conquered] cites S. Finche (1596-7), ' The inner 

Timur, in his operations against trenches which doth countermaunde 

walled cities, is generally described those other.' 

(by those historians capable of 65. Orcus'] one of several names 
appreciating his siege methods) by which the Roman poets de- 
as setting sappers to work upon the scribe alike Pluto, the god of the 
walls under cover of a barrage of underworld (equivalent to the 
bow-shot which prevented the Greek Hades) and the underworld 
besieged from interfering with itself ; the name Orcus probably re- 
their operations, pioners] An ad- f erred originally to the place of con- 
vance-guard of trench-diggers, etc. finement. ' Orcus' gulf ' is thus, to 
Cf. Moryson, Itin. ii. 115, ' Our Marlowe, the mouth of hell, 
pioners had been busied in forti- 
fying and building a new Fort.' ^^^ ^^^- ^^^^^ **• 

60. Carnon] Miss Seaton (R.E.S.) Agydas] has no prototype in 

points out that the Mountain Car- any of the sources which Marlowe 

non, which does not appear to be used, and is an addition, though 

in any map, may be ' a confusion the only one that reproduces a 

of the famous aqueduct of [Con- stock or conventional type, as 

stantinople] with its equally fa- Mr. L. Spense points out. (See 

mous Golden Horn, seeing that The Influence of Marlowe's Sources 

Carnon represents adequately the on Tamburlaine. I., Mod. Phil, 

Turkish for horn ' (p. 393). XXIV.) 

63. countermand] control. N.E.D. 


120 THE FIRST PART OF [actiii 

When your offensive rape by Tamburlaine 
(Which of your whole displeasures should be most) 
Hath seem'd to be digested long ago. 

Zen. Although it be digested long ago, 

As his exceeding favours have deserv'd, lo 

And might content the Queen of Heaven, as well 
As it hath chang'd my first conceived disdain ; 
Yet since a farther passion feeds my thoughts 
With ceaseless and disconsolate conceits, 

.^ Which dyes my looks so lifeless as they are, 
And might, if my extremes had full events, 
Make me the ghastly counterfeit of death. 

Agyd. Eternal heaven sooner be dissolv'd. 
And all that pierceth Phoebe's silver eye. 
Before such hap fall to Zenocrate ! 20 

Zen. Ah, life and soul still hover in his breast. 
And leave my body senseless as the earth, 
Or else unite you to his life and soul, 

14. ceaseless] carelesse O4. 19. Phoebe's'] Phcebus O4. 21. his] the O4. 
23. you] me O3 O4. 

6. rape] snatching away, seizure. i^-i^j. Yetsince . . . ofdeath]Zeno- 
9-10. Although . . . deserv'd] This crate's meaning is, I take it : ' Yet 
is the first intimation the audience since then a further passion leads 
has had of the change in Zeno- me to ceaseless and comfortless 
crate's feeUngs towards Tambur- thoughts, which cause the hfeless 
laine. The figure of Zenocrate is looks you remark in me and might 
substantially an addition of Mar- if the worst extremity came to pass, 
lowe's and the story of her relations make me the very picture of death 
with Tamburlaine is skilfully inter- itself.' ' Conceit ', in Elizabethan 
woven with that of his rising career, English had many meanings, 
serving both to indicate the passage ' Fancy ' perhaps comes nearest to 
of time and to give variety. But the sense in this line. A ' counter- 
Marlowe is not yet experienced feit ' was normally a picture, hence, 
enough to be able to reveal this the perfect semblance or image of 
relationship by brief passages a thing. 

mingled with other parts of the 19. P/^^fce's] Dyce and some sub- 
action, as he does the relations of sequent editors, following O4, read 
Mortimer and Isabella in £afway^//. Phoebus. But the Elizabethans, 
He chooses instead the more no more than the moderns, associ- 
obvious and primitive convention ated silver with the sun. The 
of a dialogue between Zenocrate epithet has been the prerogative 
and her confidant. of the moon in many literatures. 

II. the Queen of Heaven] Juno, of 23. you] Zenocrate is invoking her 

Roman mythology. own soul, begging it to remain 


That I may live and die with Tamburlaine ! 
Enter Tamburlaine, with Techelles, and others. 

Agyd. With Tamburlaine ! Ah, fair Zenocrate, 
Let not a man so vile and barbarous. 
That holds you from your father in despite, 
And keeps you from the honours of a queen, 
Being supposed his worthless concubine. 
Be honoured with your love but for necessity ! 30 
So now the mighty Soldan hears of you. 
Your highness needs not doubt but in short time 
He will, with Tamburlaine 's destruction. 
Redeem you from this deadly servitude. 

Zen. Leave to wound me with these words. 
And speak of Tamburlaine as he deserves. 
The entertainment we have had of him 
Is far from villany or servitude. 
And might in noble minds be counted princely. 

Agyd. How can you fancy one that looks so fierce, 40 
Only disposed to martial stratagems ? 
Who, when he shall embrace you in his arms. 
Will tell how many thousand men he slew ; 
And, when you look for amorous discourse. 
Will rattle forth his facts of war and blood. 
Too harsh a subject for your dainty ears. 

Zen. As looks the sun through Nilus' flowing stream, 

centred in Tamburlaine, even the context which connotation 

though by doing so it leaves her Marlowe has in mind, 

lifeless in its absence. Better still, 40. fancy] in its earlier meaning 

she adds, and a solution of the con- often had a stronger sense than the 

flict, would be a complete union modern somewhat debased phrase, 

with his life and soul. The N.E.D. compares Shakespeare 

35. Dyce and most subsequent {Twelfth Night, 11. v. 29), ' Should 

editors supply the name ' Agydas ' shee fancie, it should bee one of 

which in the octavos has probably my complection ' where, as in 

dropped out at the beginning of the Marlowe's line, the phrase has the 

line. force of ' fall in love with '. 

38. villany'] has here either the 45. facts] here in the original 

sense of discourtesy or the more sense of deeds, feats. Compare 

emphatic sense of dishonour, in- Macbeth, iii. vi. 10. ' Damned 

jury. It is not easy to judge from fact I ' 

122 THE FIRST PART OF [actiii 

Or when the Morning holds him in her arms, 

So looks my lordly love, fair Tamburlaine ; 

His talk much sweeter than the Muses' song 50 

They sung for honour 'gainst Pierides, 

Or when Minerva did with Neptune strive ; 

And higher would I rear my estimate 

Than Juno, sister to the highest god. 

If I were matched with mighty Tamburlaine. 

Agyd. Yet be not so inconstant in your love, 
But let the young Arabian live in hope. 
After your rescue to enjoy his choice. 
You see, though first the king of Persia, 
Being a shepherd, seem'd to love you much, 60 

Now, in his majesty, he leaves those looks. 
Those words of favour, and those comfortings, 
And gives no more than common courtesies. 

Zen. Thence rise the tears that so distain my cheeks. 
Fearing his love through my un worthiness. 

Tamburlaine goes to her, and takes her away lovingly 
by the hand, looking wrathfully on Agydas, and says 
nothing. Exeunt all except Agydas. 

Agyd. Betrayed by fortune and suspicious love, 
Threatened with frowning wrath and jealousy, 
Surpris'd with fear of hideous revenge, 
I stand aghast ; but most astonied 
To see his choler shut in secret thoughts, 70 

50. much] more O4. 58. enjoy'] eioy O^ inioy O^O^^. 65. S.T>. Exeunt 
. . . Agydas] Add. Dyce. 68. of]and02- 

50-1. the Muses' song . . . Pier- 65. Fearing his love] Fearing for 

ides] The nine daughters of Pierus, his love ; fearing lest it should fail, 

king of Emathia, contested with through my unworthiness. 

the Muses and were transformed 70-87. To see his choler . . . her 

into birds after their defeat. This overthrow] This picture of the 

story, like that referred to in the wrath of Tamburlaine and of the 

following lines, the contest of terror it struck into its victim is 

Athena and Poseidon for the generally reminiscent of the episode 

government of Athens, probably described, by Mexia, Perondinus 

reached Marlowe through Ovid's and three or four other historians, 

account [Metam., v. 302 seq.)^ qi the merchant of Genoa who 


And wrapt in silence of his angry soul. 

Upon his brows was pour t rayed ugly death, 

And in his eyes the fury of his heart. 

That shine as comets, menacing revenge. 

And casts a pale complexion on his cheeks. 

As when the seaman sees the Hyades 

Gather an army of Cimmerian clouds, 

(Auster and Aquilon with winged steeds. 

All sweating, tilt about the watery heavens, 

With shivering spears enforcing thunderclaps, 80 

And from their shields strike flames of lightning) 

All fearful folds his sails and sounds the main, 

Lifting his prayers to the heavens for aid 

Against the terror of the winds and waves ; 

So fares Agydas for the late felt frowns. 

That sent a tempest to my daunted thoughts. 

And makes my soul divine her overthrow. 

Enter Techelles with a naked dagger, and Usumcasane. 

Tech. See you, Agydas, how the king salutes you. 
He bids you prophesy what it imports. 

73. fury] furies O^. 87. S.D. and Usumcasane] Add. Dyce. 89. S.D.] 
Exit. Add. Oi O2. 

opposed Tamburlaine and provoked Aquilo (' victoque aquilonibus aus- 
the famous words ' [I am] the tro ', Metam., v. 285) and Lucre- 
wrath and vengeaunce of God . . .' tius, whose work was also probably 
(See Appendix C.) well known to Marlowe, gives a 

76. the Hyades] a group of seven scientific description of thunder as 
stars, which, if they rose simul- caused by the collision of clouds 
taneously with the sun, were be- when the winds (no specific winds 
lieved to bring rain (cf. Tennyson, are named) fight {De Rer. Nat., vi. 
?7/ysses, lo-i I, ' the rainy Hyades I 95 seq.). Marlowe has perhaps 
Vext the dim sea. . . .') combined two passages with which 

77. Cimmerian] black, as gener- he was familiar. 

ally with Marlowe. 88. Enter . . . Usumcasane] There 

78. Auster and Aquilon] The is some discrepancy in the original 
south-west and north winds brought versions here. O^ Og have the 
at certain seasons fogs and rain. S.D. ' Exit ', (1. 89) which would 
The description of their conflict and take Techelles off the stage during 
the thunder and lightning produced Agydas's speech and require another 
by it seems to have no parallel in S.D. for his entry at or before 1. 107. 
classical literature, though Ovid The S.D. at 1. 89 is omitted alto- 
describes the conflict of Auster and gether by OgO^,, which would mean 

124 THE FIRST PART OF [act m 

Agyd. I prophesied before and now I prove 90 

The kilHng frowns of jealousy and love. 
He needed not with words confirm my fear, 
For words are vain where working tools present 
The naked action of my threatened end. 
It says, Agydas, thou shalt surely die. 
And of extremities elect the least ; 
More honour and less pain it may procure 
To die by this resolved hand of thine, 
Than stay the torments he and heaven have sworn. 
Then haste, Agydas, and prevent the plagues 100 
Which thy prolonged fates may draw on thee ; 
Go wander free from fear of tyrant's rage, 
Removed from the torments and the hell 
Wherewith he may excruciate thy soul ; 
And let Agydas by Agydas die, 
And with this stab slumber eternally. [Stabs himself. 

Tech. Usumcasane, see how right the man 

Hath hit the meaning of my lord the king ! 

Usum. Faith, and, Techelles, it was manly done ; 

And, since he was so wise and honourable, no 

Let us afford him now the bearing hence. 
And crave his triple worthy burial. 

Tech. Agreed, Casane ; we will honour him. 

[Exeunt, hearing out the body. 

106. S.D.] om. Oi_3. 113. S.D.] Add. Dyce. 

that Usumcasane and Techelles sentiment comes in abruptly and 

presumably withdraw to the back slightly confuses the direction of the 

of the stage while Agydas makes emotion. In its present form it 

his final speech and stabs himself. recalls Seneca : * Prima huius 

99. stay] as often, await, stay for. notae sunt hostium manibus eripi 

102. Go . . . rage] This somewhat et tyrannicae irae et proscription! 

misplaced echo of a common stoic et aliis periculis ' [De Ben,, i, ii, 2). 




Basso, Zenocrate, with others. 

Tamh. Basso, by this thy lord and master knows 

I mean to meet him in Bithynia : 

See how he comes ! tush, Turks are full of brags 

And menace more than they can well perform. 

He meet me in the field and fetch thee hence ! 

Alas, poor Turk ! his fortune is too weak 

T' encounter with the strength of Tamburlaine. 

View well my camp, and speak indifferently ; 

Do not my captains and my soldiers look 

As if they meant to conquer Africa ? lo 

Bas, Your men are valiant, but their number few, 

And cannot terrify his mighty host ; 

My lord, the great commander of the world, 

Besides fifteen contributory kings. 

Hath now in arms ten thousand janizaries. 

Scene in. 
4. menace'] meane O4. 

Scene Hi. leaves the actual site of so well 

1. Basso] Upon the position and known an historical event vague, 
duties of the Basso (Bashaw), the That this caution was dehberate on 
Pasha, or Captain of the Janissaries, Marlowe's part, there is no doubt 
Nicholas Nicholay gives some de- (see Seaton, Marlowe's Map, p. 27) ; 
tailed information in his Naviga- he is specific enough in geographical 
tions . . ., Bk. Ill, chaps, iii-vi, details when he is not treating 
which Marlowe probably knew. matter of historical fact. 

2. Bithynia] The battle between 3-4- Turks . . . perform] Marlowe 
Tamburlaine and Bajazet is vari- emphasizes the braggart in Bajazet 
ously placed by the historians of even more than do most of the 
the sixteenth century. Newton sources, who generally describe 
puts it ' in Bithynia ' and further Bajazet as defying his enemy in 
specifies ' near to Mount Stella ' exultant terms, but able and pre- 
(see Appendix D), as do also Cus- pared to make good his defiance, 
pinian. Perondinus. Granucci ; 1 1 • ^^^^'*' number few] A dehber- 
Mexia puts it on the confines of ate departure from the records. 
Armenia, an alternative also men- Marlowe wishes to emphasize the 
tioned by Cuspinian and Peron- valour of Tamburlaine and must do 
dinus ; the Byzantines incline to i^ at the expense of the Turkish 
Phrygia. Marlowe takes full ad- army. (See Introduction and Ap- 
vantage of this uncertainty and pendix C.) 

126 THE FIRST PART OF [actiii 

Mounted on lusty Mauritanian steeds. 
Brought to the war by men of Tripoly ; 
Two hundred thousand footmen that have serv'd 
In two set battles fought in Grsecia ; 
And for the expedition of this war, 20 

If he think good, can from his garrisons 
Withdraw as many more to follow him. 
Tech. The more he brings, the greater is the spoil ; 
For, when they perish by our warlike hands. 
We mean to seat our footmen on their steeds, 
And rifle all those stately janizars. 
Tamb. But will those kings accompany your lord ? 
Bas. Such as his highness please ; but some must stay 
To rule the provinces he late subdued. 
r\ Tamb. Then fight courageously ; their crowns are yours, 30 

k This hand shall set them on your conquering heads 

; ^' That made me emperor of Asia. 

Usum. Let him bring millions infinite of men. 
Unpeopling Western Africa and Greece, 
Yet we assure us of the victory. 
H Ther. Even he, that in a trice vanquished two kings ^v 

■■^'*^^ More mighty than the Turkish emperor, v"^ 

■; "^ Shall rouse him out of Europe, and pursue 'v^ . 

V' -^ His scattered army till they yield or die. " ^V J^ 

M Z^' Tamb. Well said, Theridamas ! speak in that mood; 40 
"^ ----^_^ u YoT Will and Shall best fitteth Tamburlaine, ~ ^y , 

V^ _^ Whose smiling stars gives him assured hope 
^ Of martial triumph ere he meet his foes. fv v -^ 

I that am term'd the Scourge and Wrath of God, ^ 

25. seat] set Og. 42. gives] give O2. ^\. '^ 

16. Mauritania] A district of before the siege of Constantinople, 

North-west Africa, sometimes re- from which he was turned aside by 

garded as including Numidia, Tamburlaine's attack. The two 

famous for its horses and horse- provinces referred to by the Basso 

men. Tripoly is further east, on are coupled in Usumcasane's words 

the coast of Barbary. (1. 34) ' unpeopling Western Africa 

19. Grcscia] The invasion of and Greece '. 
Greece by Bajazet had taken place 44. / that . . . God] Such a phrase 



The only fear and terror of the world, 

Will first subdue the Turk, and then enlarge fr'^---^^^-^-- 

Those Christian captives which you keep as slaves, 

Burdening their bodies with your heavy chains. 

And feeding them with thin and slender fare, 

That naked row about the Terrene sea, 50 

And, when they chance to breathe and rest a space, 

Are punished with bast ones so grievously 

That they lie panting on the galley's side, 

And strive for life at every stroke they give. . ,-^V-'!^'' 

These are the cruel pirates of Argier, "^^ 

That damned train, the scum of Africa, 

Inhabited with straggling runagates. 

That make quick havoc of the Christian blood. 

But, as I live, that town shall curse the time 

That Tamburlaine set foot in Africa. 60 

51. breathe and rest] rest or breathe Og. 53. they] om. O4. 

as this is attributed to Tamburlaine 
by several of the historians whom 
Marlowe had studied, chief among 
them Mexia and Perondinus, though 
generally in a form more like that 
of Fortescue (see Appendix C) : 
' the wrath (or vengeance) of God 
and the destruction of the world.' 
Perondinus gives it the form 
' Memento me, ait, Dei maximi 
iram esse, atque depravati saeculi 
funestam cladem ' {Per., Cap. 

52. bastones] (scanned as dis- 
syllabic) a stick or cudgel. Com- 
pare mod. F. baton and see 
Nicholas Nicholay's account (note 
"to 1. 55) where the word ' staves ' 
is used. 

55. pirates of Argier] On the pir- 
ates of Algeria Nicholas Nicholay 
has an interesting comment. Some 
of his phrases seem to have found 
their way into Marlowe's play : 
' The most part of the Turks of 
Algier, whether they be of the king's 
household or the gallies, are 
Christians renied, or Mahomatised, 

of all nations, but most of them 
Spaniards, Italians and of Provence, 
of the islands and coasts of the 
Mediteranean Sea, given all to 
whoredom, sodomy, theft, and all 
other most detestable vices, living 
only on rovings, spoils, and pillaging 
at the seas and islands being about 
them ; and with their practic art 
bring daily to Algier a great number 
of poor Christians , which they sell 
unto the Moors, and other mer- 
chants of Barbary, for slaves, who 
afterwards transport them and sell 
them where they think good, or 
else beating them miserably with 
staves, do employ and constrain 
them to work in the fields, and all 
other vile and abject occupations 
and servitude almost intolerable.' 
{A Collection of Voyages, ed. 1745 
(No. x), p. 560.) 

57. runagates] vagabonds, deser- 
ters, or, more specifically, apostates 
(perhaps by association with ' rene- 
gade '). In view of Nicholay's ac- 
count quoted above the latter seems 
the most probable meaning here. 

128 THE FIRST PART OF [actiii 

Enter Bajazeth with his Bassoes and contributory Kings. 

Zabina and Ebea. 

Baj. Bassoes and janizaries of my guard, 
Attend upon the person of your lord, 
The greatest potentate of Africa. 

Tamb. Techelles and the rest, prepare your swords ; 
I mean t' encounter with that Bajazeth. 

Baj. Kings of Fesse, Moroccus, and Argier, 

He calls me Bajazeth, whom you call lord ! 

Note the presumption of this Scythian slave ! 

I tell thee, villain, those that lead my horse 

Have to their names titles of dignity ; 70 

And dar'st thou bluntly call me Bajazeth ? 

Tamb. And know thou, Turk, that those which lead my horse 
Shall lead thee captive thorough Africa ; 
And dar'st thou bluntly call me Tamburlaine ? 

Baj. By Mahomet my kinsman's sepulchre. 
And by the holy Alcaron I swear. 
He shall be made a chaste and lustless eunuch. 
And in my sarell tend my concubines ; 
And all his captains, that thus stoutly stand, 
Shall draw the chariot of my emperess, 80 

Whom I have brought to see their overthrow. 

Tamb. By this my sword that conquer'd Persia, 

Thy fall shall make me famous through the world ! 

60. S.D. contributory] his contributory O3 O4. 65. t' encounter] t' incoun- 
ter Oi- to incounter Og. 70. titles] title O3 O4. 

66. Fesse, Moroccus] These forms house or in the preparing of the 

are regular in EHzabethan EngUsh printed text. (See R. J. ' To the 

and interchangeable with Fez, Gentleman Readers . . .' and the 

Morocco. The three kingdoms be- notes.) 

tween them comprise the whole 76. yl/carow] appears to be a form 

stretch of the north African coast preferred by Marlowe (or by the 

under the suzerainty of Bajazet. printer) and by some of his con- 

74. call me Tamburlaine] It may temporaries. It occurs also in 

be remarked that Bajazet has not Part II, i. ii. 61 and V. i. 172, 

yet spoken to Tamburlaine by 192. 

name so that the retort is point- 78. sarell] (more familiar to 

less. Possibly this indicates some modem readers through the Italian 

contracting or expanding of the form ' seraglio '), the women's 

original text either in the play- quarters in a Mahometan house. 


I will not tell thee how Til handle thee. 
But every common soldier of my camp 
Shall smile to see thy miserable state. 

Fez. What means the mighty Turkish emperor, 
To talk with one so base as Tamburlaine ? 

Morocco. Ye Moors and valiant men of Barbary, 

How can ye suffer these indignities ? 90 

Arg. Leave words, and let them feel your lances' points, 
Which glided through the bowels of the Greeks. 

Baj. Well said, my stout contributory kings ! 
Your threefold army and my hugy host 
Shall swallow up these base born Persians. 

Tech. Puissant, renowmed, and mighty Tamburlaine, 
Why stay we thus prolonging all their lives ? 

Ther. I long to see those crowns won by our swords, 
That we may reign as kings of Africa. 

Usum. What coward would not fight for such a prize ? 100 

Tamb. Fight all courageously, and be you kings : 
I speak it, and my words are oracles. 

Baj. Zabina, mother of three braver boys 
Than Hercules, that in his infancy 
Did pash the jaws of serpents venomous, 
Whose hands are made to gripe a warlike lance, 
Their shoulders broad for complete armour fit, 

84. 77/] / wil{l) O3O4. 87. the] this O4. 90. ye\ you O4. 97 all] of 
Og. 99. reign] rule Og. 103. braver] brave O4. 

84. I will . . . thee] Tamburlaine's 104. Hercules] The life and ex- 
imagination fails him — as it well ploits of Hercules were a common- 
may. It is hardly necessary to place of Elizabethan allusion. Mar- 
point out that this undignified dia- lowe may have found the source 
logue is without a close parallel for his numerous references in 
in most of Marlowe's sources. Ovid, Metam. ix (especially 182 ff. 
There is, in many, an exchange of and 136 ff.). There is a brief refer- 
letters containing threats and ence to this episode in Metam. 
veiled insults, but the theatrically ix, 67, but the fuller accounts 
effective situation in which the depend upon Pindar {Nem. i.) 
leaders exchange vituperation on and Theocritus (xxiv.), neither of 
the battlefield and their Queens which writers was, I think, known 
continue the strife of words dur- to Marlowe. 

ing the battle is unknown to his- 105. pash] A common onomato- 

tory. poeic word : to dash to pieces, to 

94. hugy] huge. smash. 

130 THE FIRST PART OF [actih 

Their limbs more large and of a bigger size 

Than all the brats y-sprung from Typhon's loins ; 

Who, when they come unto their father's age, no 

Will batter turrets with their manly fists — 

Sit here upon this royal chair of state. 

And on thy head wear my imperial crown, 

Until I bring this sturdy Tamburlaine 

And all his captains bound in captive chains. 

Zah. Such good success happen to Bajazeth ! 
Tamb. Zenocrate, the loveliest maid alive, 

Fairer than rocks of pearl and precious stone, 

The only paragon of Tamburlaine ; 

Whose eyes are brighter than the lamps of heaven, 120 

And speech more pleasant than sweet harmony ; 

That with thy looks canst clear the darkened sky. 

And calm the rage of thundering Jupiter ; 

Sit down by her, adorned with my crown. 

As if thou wert the empress of the world. 

Stir not, Zenocrate, until thou see 

Me march victoriously with all my men. 

Triumphing over him and these his kings. 

Which I will bring as vassals to thy feet ; 

Till then, take thou my crown, vaunt of my worth, 130 

And manage words with her, as we will arms. 

Zeno. And may my love, the king of Persia, 
Return with victory and free from wound ! 

Baj. Now shalt thou feel the force of Turkish arms, 
Which lately made all Europe quake for fear. 
I have of Turks, Arabians, Moors and Jews, 
Enough to cover all Bithynia. 

109. Typhon's] Tryphons O4. 

109. ^-s^^Mw^] Archaic forms such Cerberus, the Lernaean hydra, 

as this are rare in Marlowe's writing. Chimaera and the Sphynx, though 

The reference is to Hesiod's account it is perhaps unhkely that Mar- 

{Theog. 306 ff.) of Typhaon (often lowe derived it from Hesiod him- 

confused later with Typhoeus, the self. 

father of the winds), whose chil- 131. manage.] See II. v. iii. 36 

dren were the monsters Orthus, and note. 


Let thousands die : their slaughtered carcasses 
Shall serve for walls and bulwarks to the rest ; 
And as the heads of Hydra, so my power, 140 

Subdued, shall stand as mighty as before. 
If they should yield their necks unto the sword, 
Thy soldiers' arms could not endure to strike 
So many blows as I have heads for thee. 
Thou knowest not, foolish-hardy Tamburlaine, 
What 'tis to meet me in the open field. 
That leave no ground for thee to march upon. 
Tamb. Our conquering swords shall marshal us the way 
We use to march upon the slaughtered foe, 
Trampling their bowels with our horses' hoofs, 150 
Brave horses bred on the white Tartarian hills. 
My camp is like to Julius Caesar's host. 
That never fought but had the victory ; 
Nor in Pharsalia was there such hot war 
As these my followers willingly would have. 
Legions of spirits fleeting in the air 
Direct our bullets and our weapons' points 
And make our strokes to wound the senseless lure ; 
And when she sees our bloody colours spread. 
Then Victory begins to take her flight, 160 

Resting herself upon my milk-white tent. 
But come, my lords, to weapons let us fall ; 
The field is ours, the Turk, his wife and all. 

[Exit with his followers. 

142. they] they they O3. yield] ycelde Og- 158. lure] lute Og. 

140. Hydra.] See note to 1. 109. burlaine and contemporaneous with 

148. Our . . . way] Compare histranslationof the Elegies of Ovid, 

Shakespeare's almost identical use 158. /wye] This passage appears to 

of the metaphor : Macbeth, 11. i. ^2 : be hopelessly corrupt. The rela- 

' Thou marshall'st me the way that tively less unsatisfactory reading of 

I was going.' O^ O3 O4 has been retained here, 

154. Pharsalia] It may be re- though it is difficult to believe that 

called that Marlowe's blank verse it represents the original. Dyce's 

translation of part of the first conjecture ' air ' is substituted in 

book of Lucan's Pharsalia belongs most modern reprints, and is rather 

to the early period of his career, more probable than ' light ' (Rob.) 

probably slightly earlier than Tam- ' wind ' (Cunn.) or ' winds ' (Wag.). 

132 THE FIRST PART OF [actiii 

Baj. Come, kings and bassoes, let us glut our swords 
That thirst to drink the feeble Persians* blood. 

[Exit with his followers. 

Zah. Base concubine, must thou be plac'd by me 
That am the empress of the mighty Turk ? 

Zeno. Disdainful Turkess, and unreverend boss, 
Call'st thou me concubine, that am betroth'd 
Unto the great and mighty Tamburlaine ? 170 

Zah. To Tamburlaine, the great Tartarian thief ! 

Zeno. Thou wilt repent these lavish words of thine 
When thy great basso master and thyself 
Must plead for mercy at his kingly feet, 
And sue to me to be your advocates. 

Zah. And sue to thee ! I tell thee, shameless girl, 
Thou shalt be laundress to my waiting maid. 
How lik'st thou her, Ebea ? will she serve ? 

Ehea. Madam, she thinks perhaps she is too fine ; 

But I shall turn her into other weeds, 180 

And make her dainty fingers fall to work. 

Zeno. Hearst thou, Anippe, how thy drudge doth talk. 
And how my slave, her mistress, menaceth ? 
Both for their sauciness shall be employed 
To dress the common soldiers' meat and drink ; 
For we will scorn they should come near ourselves. 

Anip. Yet sometimes let your highness send for them 

173. basso master] Bassoe, maister O-^. Bassoe-maister O^-^. 175. advo- 
cates'] Advocate O3 O4. 180. vueeds] weed O^. 181. In O4 this and the 
following line are repeated, once at the bottom of Sig. F. and again at the top 
of Sig. Fy. The catchword for I. 183, ' And ', was perhaps confused with 
the first word of I. 181. 

165. feeble Persians' blood] Tarn- 175. advocates] As Wagner points 

burlaine and his generals have be- out, this may be regarded as a 

come identified in Bajazet's mind feminine, ' advocatess ', though 

with the Persians, of whom they only one other doubtful instance 

are now the rulers and governors. is given in the N.E.D. 

168. boss] Mitford would have 185. To dress . . . drink] This 

emended to ' Bassa ', but there is was, in fact, the fate assigned to 

something to be said for retaining Bajazet's empress by Perondinus 

' Bosse '. See N.E.D. (s.v.) which and others. See Appendix D3 and 

cites Sherwood, s.v. : ' A fatt notes. 
Bosse, femme bien grasse et grosse.' 


To do the work my chambermaid disdains. 

[They sound to the battle within and stay. 

Zeno. Ye gods and powers that govern Persia, 

And made my lordly love her worthy king, 190 

Now strengthen him against the Turkish Bajazeth, 
And let his foes, like flocks of fearful roes 
Pursued by hunters, fly his angry looks, 
That I may see him issue conqueror ! 

Zah. Now, Mahomet, solicit God himself, 

And make him rain down murdering shot from heaven. 
To dash the Scythians' brains, and strike them dead, 
That dare to manage arms with him 
That offered jewels to thy sacred shrine 
When first he warr'd against the Christians ! 200 

\To the battle again. 

Zeno. By this the Turks lie weltring in their blood, 
And Tamburlaine is lord of Africa. 

Zab. Thou art deceiv'd. I heard the trumpets sound 
As when my emperor overthrew the Greeks, 
And led them captive into Africa. 
Straight will I use thee as thy pride deserves ; 
Prepare thyself to live and die my slave. 

Zeno. If Mahomet should come from heaven and swear 
My royal lord is slain or conquered. 
Yet should he not persuade me otherwise 210 

But that he lives and will be conqueror. 

Bajazeth flies and he pursues him. The battle short and 
they enter. Bajazeth is overcome. 

Tamb. Now, king of bassoes, who is conqueror ? 

196. murdering] murthering O^ Og. 202. And] as O4. 204. As] and O4. 
211. S.D. battle short] battle is short O3 O4. 

199. thy sacred shrine] Most of the Tamburlaine, himself a devout 

historians agree in describing Ba- Mahometan, long refrained from 

jazet as the zealous champion of crushing him on account of this 

Islam against Christendom. Ac- virtue, 
cording to the Byzantine accounts, 

134 THE FIRST PART OF [act m 

Baj. Thou, by the fortune of this damned foil. 
Tamb. Where are your stout contributory kings ? 

Enter Techelles, Theridamas, and Usumcasane. 

Tech. We have their crowns ; their bodies strow the field. 
Tamb. Each man a crown ! why, kingly fought, i 'faith. 

Deliver them into my treasury. 
Zeno. Now let me offer to my gracious lord 

His royal crown again so highly won. 
Tamb. Nay, take the Turkish crown from her, Zenocrate, 220 

And crown me emperor of Africa. 
Zab. No, Tamburlaine ; though now thou gat the best. 

Thou shalt not yet be lord of Africa. 
Ther. Give her the crown, Turkess, you were best. 

[He takes it from her, and gives it Zenocrate. 
Zab. Injurious villains, thieves, runagates, 

How dare you thus abuse my majesty ? 
Ther. Here, madam, you are empress ; she is none. 
Tamb. Not now, Theridamas ; her time is past : 

The pillars that have bolstered up those terms 

Are fain in clusters at my conquering feet. 230 

Zab. Though he be prisoner, he may be ransom'd. 
Tamb. Not all the world shall ransom Bajazeth. 
Baj. Ah, fair Zabina, we have lost the field ; 

And never had the Turkish emperor 

So great a foil by any foreign foe. 

Now will the Christian miscreants be glad, 

213. foir\ Conj. Dyce etc. soile O^ Og. soyle O3 O4. 220. Zenocrate] 
Zen. Oi Og. Zeno-crate O3O4 {line division). 234. In O4 this line stands 
before I. 233 and is given to Tamburlaine. 

213. /oi/] (conj. Dyce) is an almost difficult to believe that they are 

irresistible emendation for soile not a survival of the ' fond and 

(soyle) of the four early texts. frivolous gestures ' which Jones 

The error of substituting a long did his best to omit. They bear 

' s ' for an ' f ' is repeated more a similar aesthetic relation to the 

than once in this play, though this context as do the frivolities written 

is the only case in which it occurs into Faustus. 
in Oj. 225. runagates'] See note to 1. 57 

215-27. We have . . . is none] The above, 
puerility of these lines makes it 


Ringing with joy their superstitious bells, 
And making bonfires for my overthrow : 
But, ere I die, those foul idolaters 
Shall make me bonfires with their filthy bones ; 240 
For, though the glory of this day be lost, 
Afric and Greece have garrisons enough 
To make me sovereign of the earth again. 
Tamb. Those walled garrisons will I subdue, 
And write myself great lord of Africa. 
So from the East unto the furthest West 
Shall Tamburlaine extend his puissant arm. 
The galleys and those pilling brigandines. 
That yearly sail to the Venetian gulf. 
And hover in the straits for Christians' wreck, 250 
Shall lie at anchor in the Isle Asant, 
Until the Persian fleet and men-of-war, 
Sailing along the oriental sea. 
Have fetched about the Indian continent. 
Even from Persepolis to Mexico, 
And thence unto the Straits of Jubalter, 
Where they shall meet and join their force in one, 
Keeping in awe the Bay of Portingale, 
And all the ocean by the British shore ; 
And by this means I'll win the world at last. 260 

246. furthest] farthest O4. 259. British] Brittish O3 O4 brightest Og. 

242. Afric and Greece] Bajazet's coast of Achaia, so named by the 

constant references to the provinces ancients and by Ortehus : Thea- 

of Africa and Greece and his de- trum Orbis Terrarum (Graecia). 

pendence upon them for his re- 252. Persian fleet] Tamburlaine's 

covery are explained when we Persian fleet is to follow approxi- 

remember that it was in Natolia, mately the route of the Portuguese 

at the heart of the Turkish empire, and Italian traders from Ormuz 

that this battle had been fought. to southern China. He then sees 

248. galleys . . . brigandines] For them strike across the Pacific to 

descriptions of the Turkish pirates the western coast of Mexico and 

of the Mediterranean, Marlowe appears to anticipate the Panama 

may, as has been noted, be in- canal, bringing them straight 

debted to Nicholas Nicholay. (See through the isthmus to Gibraltar, 

I. III. iii. 55 and note.) where they are to be joined by the 

251. Asant] generally interpreted Mediterranean fleet and control the 

as Zante, a large island off the shipping in Biscay and the Channel. 


Baj. Yet set a ransom on me, Tamburlaine. 
Tamb. What, thinkst thou Tamburlaine esteems thy gold ? 
I I'll make the kings of India, ere I die, 

^ Offer their mines, to sue for peace, to me. 

And dig for treasure to appease my wrath. 
Come, bind them both, and one lead in the Turk ; 
™ The Turkess let my love's maid lead away. 

* [They hind them. 

J' Baj. Ah, villains, dare ye touch my sacred arms ? 

f O Mahomet ! O sleepy Mahomet ! 

! Zah. O cursed Mahomet, that makest us thus 270 

The slaves to Scythians rude and barbarous ! 
Tamb. Come, bring them in ; and for this happy conquest 
' Triumph and solemnise a martial feast. [Exeunt. 

Finis Actus Tertii. 

268. ye] you O^. 270. makest] makst O3 makes O4. 273. martial] 

materiall O4. 

263. kings of India] Timur historians and by Schiltberger, does 

actually invaded and subdued a not appear in any of the European 

great part of Northern India about biographers Marlowe appears to 

the year 1395, but this, though have studied, 
recorded by most of the oriental 


SoLDAN OF Egypt with three or four Lords, Capolin. 

Sold. Awake, ye men of Memphis ! hear the clang 
Of Scythian trumpets ; hear the basilisks, 
That roaring shake Damascus' turrets down. 
The rogue of Volga holds Zenocrate, 
The Soldan's daughter, for his concubine, 
And with a troop of thieves and vagabonds, 
Hath spread his colours to our high disgrace, 
While you faint-hearted, base Egyptians, 
Lie slumbering on the flowery banks of Nile, 
As crocodiles that unaffrighted rest lo 

While thundering cannons rattle on their skins. 

Mess. Nay, mighty Soldan, did your greatness see 
The frowning looks of fiery Tamburlaine, 
That with his terror and imperious eyes 
Commands the hearts of his associates, 

dued this hitherto impregnable 
Act IV. Scene i. town. 

2. basilisks] pieces of ordnance, 4. Volga] Marlowe's references 
cannons. Marlowe uses the term suggest that he associates Tam- 
also in the Jew of Malta, ' Our burlaine with the district north 
bombards, shot and basilisk' (1. and west of the Caspian Sea, though 
2228). at other times he follows the tradi- 

3. Damascus] The siege of Dam- tion which makes him a native of 
ascus by Tamburlaine is described Samarcand or its neighbourhood, 
in detail by nearly all the his- 10. crocodiles] were to the Eliza- 
torians. Historically, it appears to bethans strictly natives of the Nile, 
have occurred before the defeat Their fabulous powers and strange 
of Bajazet and to have formed an habits are frequently described, and 
episode in Timur's march to the credulity which the Elizabeth- 
Angora. Most of the accounts ans accorded to these tales is satiric- 
describe also the remarkable siege ally touched on by Anthony {Ant. 
operations by which Timur sub- and Cleop., 11. vii). 


138 THE FIRST PART OF [activ 

It might amaze your royal majesty. 
Sold, Villain, I tell thee, were that Tamburlaine 

As monstrous as Gorgon prince of hell, 

The Soldan would not start a foot from him. 

But speak, what power hath he ? 20 

Mess. Mighty lord, 

Three hundred thousand men in armour clad. 

Upon their prancing steeds, disdainfully 

With wanton paces trampling on the ground ; 

Five hundred thousand footmen threatening shot. 

Shaking their swords, their spears and iron bills. 

Environing their standard round, that stood 

As bristle-pointed as a thorny wood ; 

Their warlike engines and munition 

Exceed the forces of their martial men. 30 

Sold. Nay, could their numbers countervail the stars. 

Or ever drizzling drops of April showers, 

Or withered leaves that autumn shaketh down, 
, Yet would the Soldan by his conquering power 
\ So scatter and consume them in his rage. 

That not a man should live to rue their fall. 
Capo. So might your highness, had you time to sort 

Your fighting men, and raise your royal host. 

But Tamburlaine by expedition 

Advantage takes of your unreadiness. 4® 

Sold. Let him take all th' advantages he can. 

Were all the world conspir'd to fight for him, 

Act IV. Scene i. 

32. ever drizzling'] drisling O^. 36. should] shal O^- 41. th' advantages] 
the advantages O4. 

18. monstrous] abnormal, un- is perhaps worth remark that one 

natural. Cf. Chapman, Odyss., ix. of the few early references to this 

268, ' A man in shape, immane and mysterious deity occurs in Lucan's 

monsterous.' Gorgon] an abbrevi- Pharsalia (vi. 744-9), a work of 

ated form of Demogorgon, a poten- which Marlowe had already made 

tate of hell of obscure and possibly a partial translation. 
Egyptian origin. Faustus couples 31. coww^gyyai/] equal or match in 

his name with that of Belzibub in number. The N.E.D. cites no 

his invocation {Faustus,2^2),2,nd. it instance exactly parallel to this. 

SC. I] 



Nay, were he devil, as he is no man, 
Yet in revenge of fair Zenocrate, 
Whom he detaineth in despite of us, 
This arm should send him down to Erebus, 
To shroud his shame in darkness of the night. 
Mess. Pleaseth your mightiness to understand, 
His resolution far exceedeth all. 
- The first day when he pitcheth down his tents, 50 
White is their hue, and on his silver crest, 
A snowy feather spangled white he bears, 
To signify the mildness of his mind. 
That, satiate with spoil, refuseth blood : 
But when Aurora mounts the second time. 
As red as scarlet is his furniture ; 
Then must his kindled Vv^rath be quenched with blood, 
Not sparing any that can manage arms : 
But if these threats move not submission, 
. Black are his colours, black pavilion ; 60 

His spear, his shield, his horse, his armour, plumes. 
And jetty feathers menace death and hell ; 
Without respect of sex, degree, or age, 
He razeth all his foes with fire and sword. 

43. devil] the devill O4 Deul Og. 47. darkness] darkeesse O3. 51. White] 
While O4. 

46. Erebus] The name of the son 
of Chaos came in classical myth- 
ology to signify darkness and par- 
ticularly the gloomy space between 
the earth and Hades. 

50 etc. The first day . . . tents] The 
messenger's rhetorical description 
of the tents of Tamburlaine has 
its counterpart in nearly every 
later European historian who wrote 
at any length, but does not appear 
in the records of Schiltberger, 
Clavijo, the oriental historians or 
the Byzantines. It is a late 
European fiction difficult to trace 
to its source. The earliest record 
I find of it is in Cambinus (1529), 
where they are described as ' pa- 
diglioni dello allogiamento suo *. I 

presume the origin of the myth 
to be a European misinterpretation 
of some description by an eye- 
witness of the many-coloured tents 
of the Tartar camp-cities. The 
details are strictly followed by 
each writer, with a few differences 
of phrasing, until we come to For- 
tescue who boldly transforms them 
into ' ensigns '. (See also Appen- 
dix C and notes.) Marlowe has 
added the details of Tamburlaine's 
plume and ' furniture '. 

56. furniture] Tamburlaine's tent, 
accoutrements and dress. The use 
of the word in any or all of these 
senses was common in the late 
sixteenth century. 



[act IV 

Sold. Merciless villain, peasant, ignorant 
Of lawful arms or martial discipline, 
Pillage and murder are his usual trades, 
The slave usurps the glorious name of war ! 
See Capolin the fair Arabian king. 
That hath been disappointed by this slave 
Of my fair daughter and his princely love. 
May have fresh warning to go war with us, 
And be reveng'd for her disparagement. 




Tamburlaine, Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane, 
Zenocrate, Anippe, two Moors drawing Bajazeth in 
his cage, and his wife following him. 

Tamb. Bring out my footstool. 

[They take him out of the cage. 
Baj. Ye holy priests of heavenly Mahomet, 
That, sacrificing, slice and cut your flesh, 

y^. disparagement] dispardgemenf O ■^02- S.D.] Add. Dyce. 

69. Arabian king] Most of Tam- 
burlaine's western biographers men- 
tion the invasion of Egypt or 
Arabia or both. Mexia and those 
deriving from him, such as Primau- 
daye, bring Egypt and Arabia into 
aUiance as Marlowe does here. 

Scene ii. 
I. Bring out my footstool] Tam- 
burlaine's treatment of Bajazet 
follows closely the accounts given 
by Perondinus and Mexia. (See 
Introduction and Appendix C and 
notes.) Sir Walter Ralegh, writing 
some quarter of a century later upon 
the vicissitudes of fortune, recalls 
this scene from the play which had 
been popular in his youth : '. . . 
God, who is the Author of all our 
tragedies, hath written out for us, 
and appointed us all the parts we 
are to play : and hath not, in their 

distribution, beene partiall to the 
most mighty Princes of the world f 
. . . that appointed Bajazet to 
play the Gran Signior of the 
Turkes in the morning, and in the 
same day the Footstoole of Tamer- 
lane (both which parts Valerian 
had also playd, beeing taken by 
Sapor es). . . .' {The History of the 
World : The Preface, ed. 1829, 
vol. II, p. xlii.) 

2 seq. Ye holy priests . . . blood] 
Marlowe may have drawn his 
accounts of Mahometan rites 
from any one of several popular 
volumes, many of which combined 
with their accounts of the customs 
of the Turks a short history of the 
Turkish empire, in which the life 
of Bajazet appeared. This passage 
can be paralleled, as Miss Seaton 
points out {R.E.S., p. 396) with a 
description in Belleforest's Cos- 


Staining his altars with your purple blood, 
Make heaven to frown and every fixed star 
To suck up poison from the moorish fens, 
And pour it in this glorious tyrant's throat ! 

Tamb. The chief est God, first mover of that sphere 
Enchas'd with thousands ever shining lamps, 
Will sooner burn the glorious frame of heaven lo 
Than it should so conspire my overthrow. 
But, villain, thou that wishest this to me. 
Fall prostrate on the low disdainful earth, 
And be the footstool of great Tamburlaine, 
That I may rise into my royal throne. 

Baj. First shalt thou rip my bowels with thy sword 
And sacrifice my heart to death and hell. 
Before I yield to such a slavery. 

Tamb. Base villain, vassal, slave to Tamburlaine, 

Unworthy to embrace or touch the ground 20 

That bears the honour of my royal weight. 
Stoop, villain, stoop ! Stoop, for so he bids 
That may command thee piecemeal to be torn. 
Or scattered like the lofty cedar trees 

Scene ii. 

4, your] you O3. 7. if] om. Og. 8. sphere] speare O4. 11. than] then 
O3O4. it should] should it O^. 12. this] it O4. 15. into]unto02. 17. heart] 
soule O2. 

mographie Universelle (1575), in 9. Enchas'd with] set with, as 

which he speaks of the Turkish gold with jewels. N.E.D. cites 

dervishes who ' se font des incisions Sandys, Rel. Journ., i. 75, '. . . of 

avec leurs rasoirs le long des beaten gold, and inchaced with 

cuisses, des fesses, des bras, et de gems.' Cf. I, i. ii. 96 and note. 

I'estomach, et autres parties du thousands] The reading of O1-4 has 

corps ' (11. 597). been retained. The use of the 

7. glorious] boastful. Derived numeral as an inflected adjective 
directly from the Latin ' gloriosus ', agreeing with the substantive is 
and made familiar by the popular rare in English and unknown to the 
character of the ' miles gloriosus '. classical tongues, though it has, 

8. The chiefest . . . sphere] This is of course, an analogy in the French 
the Aristotelian conception of God ' Trois cents hommes '. 

as the ' primus motor ' (The ' First 22. stoop ! Stoop,] There is no need 

Unmoved Mover ' of Metaphysics, to repeat ' stoop ' a fourth time as 

XII. 6ff.), the power which turned Dyce suggested. The hiatus in the 

the ' primum mobile ', that in its verse is natural in imperative speech 

motion gave movement to the other and can be paralleled in many 

spheres of the Ptolemaic system. contemporary plays. 



[act IV 

Struck with the voice of thundering Jupiter. 

Baj. Then as I look down to the damned fiends, 

Fiends, look on me ! and thou, dread god of hell. 
With ebon sceptre strike this hateful earth, 
And make it swallow both of us at once ! 

[He gets up upon him to his chair. 

Tamb. Now clear the triple region of the air, 30 

And let the majesty of heaven behold 
Their scourge and terror tread on emperors. 
Smile, stars that reign'd at my nativity. 
And dim the brightness of their neighbour lamps ; 
Disdain to borrow light of Cynthia, 
For I, the chief est lamp of all the earth. 
First rising in the east with mild aspect. 
But fixed now in the meridian line. 
Will send up fire to your turning spheres, 
And cause the sun to borrow light of you. 40 

My sword struck fire from his coat of steel. 
Even in Bithynia, when I took this Turk ; 
As when a fiery exhalation, 
Wrapt in the bowels of a freezing cloud. 
Fighting for passage, makes the welkin crack, 

45. makes'] Dyce etc. make Oi_4. 

29. He gets up . . . chair] This 
detail, unknown, of course, to the 
Oriental historians, may have been 
assimilated to Tamburlaine's saga 
from the record of the treatment of 
the Emperor Licinius Valerianus 
by Sapor, King of Persia (c. a.d. 
260). (See the reference of Sir 
Walter Ralegh, in note to 1. i.) 

30. triple region of the air] The 
N.E.D. defines ' region ' in this 
sense as ' One of the successive 
portions into which the air or 
atmosphere is theoretically divided 
according to height ', and quotes 
J. Harris, Lex. Techn., i. s.v., 
' Regions of the Air, are divided 
into Upper, Middle, and Lower ' 
(1704). Marlowe's Tamburlaine 
calls upon this threefold space to 

clear itself that the gods may look 
down upon him. 

34. their] Dyce and other editors 
would read ' your ' . But the change 
from second to third person is nor- 
mal and can be readily paralleled. 

38. meridian line] The N.E.D. 
(s.v.) defines the celestial meridian 
as ' The great circle (of the celestial 
sphere) which passes through the 
celestial poles and the zenith of 
any place on the earth's surface. 
... So named because the sun 
crosses it at noon '. Tamburlaine, 
likening himself to a sun, says that 
he has now reached the meridian 
line, or noon of his fortunes. He 
further implies that he, unlike 
other suns, is ' fixed ' in the 
meridian and will not decline. 


And casts a flash of lightning to the earth. 
But ere I march to wealthy Persia, 
Or leave Damascus and th' Egyptian fields, 
As was the fame of Clymene's brainsick son 
That almost brent the axletree of heaven, 50 

So shall our swords, our lances and our shot 
Fill all the air with fiery meteors ; '- ''^■^' f ^uSi^.S^L^^.^ 

Then, when the sky shall wax as red as blood, 
V V Iv' ^^ shall be said I made it red myself, 
'. To make me think of naught but blood and war. 


Zdb. Unworthy king, that by thy cruelty 
Unlawfully usurpest the Persian seat, 
Dar'st thou, that never saw an emperor 
Before thou met my husband in the field, 
Being thy captive, thus abuse his state, 60 

Keeping his kingly body in a cage. 
That roofs of gold and sun-bright palaces 
Should have prepared to entertain his grace ? 
And treading him beneath thy loathsome feet, 
Whose feet the kings of Africa have kissed ? 

Tech. You must devise some torment worse, my lord. 
To make these captives rein their lavish tongues. 

Tamb. Zenocrate, look better to your slave. 

Zeno. She is my handmaid's slave, and she shall look 
That these abuses flow not from her tongue. 70 

Chide her, Anippe. 

46. to] on O4. 49. Clymene' s] Clymeus O^ O3 O4. 50. brent] burnt 
O3 O4. 57. usurpest] usurp'st O3 O4. 70. from] in O2. 

49. Clymene's brain sick son] dering from its sphere and dashing 
References to Phaethon and his against the axis of the universe 
ill-starred attempt to guide the upon which all the spheres, as he 
chariot of the sun are numerous explains in Faustus, should turn, 
in this play ; the story, indeed, (' All jointly move upon one axel- 
was a favourite with many Eliza- tree | Whose terminine is tearmd 
bethan poets. Ovid again {Metam. the worlds wide pole.' Faustus, 
I. 750 ff. and II. 1-366) affords a 652-3.) 

version of the tale which would be 50. brent] the older form (the 

readily accessible to Marlowe. Mar- reading of O^ O2), relatively com- 

lowe seems to picture the sun wan- mon in Spenser, has been retained. 

144 THE FIRST PART OF [act iv 

Anip. Let these be warnings for you then, my slave. 
How you abuse the person of the king ; 
Or else I swear to have you whipt stark nak'd. 

Baj. Great Tamburlaine, great in my overthrow. 
Ambitious pride shall make thee fall as low, 
For treading on the back of Bajazeth, 
That should be horsed on four mighty kings. 

Tamb. Thy names and titles and thy dignities 

Are fled from Bajazeth and remain with me, 80 

That will maintain it against a world of kings. — 
Put him in again. [They put him into the cage. 

Baj. Is this a place for mighty Bajazeth ? 

Confusion light on him that helps thee thus. 

Tamb. There, whiles he lives, shall Bajazeth be kept ; 
And where I go be thus in triumph drawn ; 
And thou his wife shalt feed him with the scraps 
My servitors shall bring thee from my board ; 
For he that gives him other food than this. 
Shall sit by him and starve to death himself : 90 
This is my mind and I will have it so. 
Not all the kings and emperors of the earth, 
If they would lay their crowns before my feet, 
Shall ransom him, or take him from his cage ; 
The ages that shall talk of Tamburlaine, 
Even from this day to Plato's wondrous year, 

72. for you then] then for you O3 O4. 79. dignities'] dignitis O3 dignitie 
O4. 82. S.D.] Add. Dyce. 85. whiles] while O4. 87. shalt] shal Og. 
88. servitors] servitures O1-4. 89. than] then O3 O4. 

75 seq. Great Tamburlaine ... It is to Marlowe's credit that he 

kings] Marlowe has deliberately does not incorporate the wholly 

stripped Bajazet of dignity in unfounded details which Peron- 

adversity no less than in pros- dinus (followed verbally by Loni- 

perity, yet he has preserved a cerus, Bizarus and Primaudaye) 

certain consistency in the charac- develops from Chalcondylas's ac- 

ter ; the futile defiance of this count of Tamburlaine 's treatment 

scene is the counterpart of his of the Turkish empress, 

earlier insolence. 96. Plato's wondrous year] A 

86. in triumph drawn] For this commonplace of the schools ; the 

detail, comparison should be made idea and the term occurring fre- 

with the accounts of Mexia, quently in medieval thought. Plato 

Perondinus and their followers. {Timaeus, 39D.) refers to the per- 



Shall talk how I have handled Bajazeth ; 

These Moors, that drew him from Bithynia 

To fair Damascus, where we now remain, 

Shall lead him with us wheresoe'er we go. loo 

Techelles, and my loving followers, 

Now may we see Damascus' lofty towers. 

Like to the shadows of Pyramides 

That with their beauties graced the Memphian fields. 

The golden stature of their feathered bird. 

That spreads her wings upon the city walls, 

Shall not defend it from our battering shot. 

The townsmen mask in silk and cloth of gold. 

And every house is as a treasury ; 

The men, the treasure and the town is ours. no 

Ther. Your tents of white now pitch'd before the gates. 
And gentle flags of amity displayed, 
I doubt not but the governor will yield, 
Offering Damascus to your majesty. 

Tamh. So shall he have his life, and all the rest. 
But if he stay until the bloody flag 

105. stature] statue O3 O4. 

feet year (rAeos eviavTvs), the 
period ' at the end of which all the 
seven " planets " {— Sun, Moon, 
and 5 planets) are relatively in the 
same position as at its beginning 
... at once a whole number of 
days, of solar years, of revolutions 
of each of the planets ' (Note : 
A. E. Taylor). Cicero {Nat. Deor. 
II. 20) refers to the ' magnus annus ', 
the period in which the constella- 
tions return to their places and 
Macrobius says that Cicero com- 
puted it as 15,000 years. Various 
computations of its length were 
made, the early astronomers placing 
it as low as 8, 19 or 59 solar years. 
Adam, in the appendix to the 
Republic (vol. 11., p. 304) quotes 
Barocius' Cosmographia, i. p. 6 
(Venetiis, 1598) where, after men- 
tioning various computations, he 
continues ' quod utique ' (i.e. what- 

ever its duration) ' temporis spa- 
tium vocant magnum Platonicum 
annum ' ; also Johannes de Sacra- 
Bosco [Sphaera, ed. Burgersdicius, 
1639, p. 12) ' quod spatium magnus 
annus appellari solet, aut annus 
Platonicus '. 

104. graced^ Dyce and many 
subsequent editors read ' grace ', 
but Tamburlaine's transition to the 
past tense of reminiscence is not 

105. stature . . . bird] The refer- 
ence is to the Ibis (see Cicero, 
Nat. Deor., i. 36, loi and also i. 
29, 82, II. 50, 126), the sacred bird 
of the Egyptians (cf. Scene iii, 1. 
37). The reading ' stature ' of 
Oj O2 is here preferred to ' statue ' 
of O3 O4. There is a similar con- 
fusion of the two words in Part II, 
II. iv. 140. 

146 THE FIRST PART OF [act iv 

Be once advanc'd on my vermilion tent, 

He dies, and those that kept us out so long ; 

And when they see me march in black array, 

With mournful streamers hanging down their heads, 120 

Were in that city all the world contained. 

Not one should scape, but perish by our swords. 

Zeno. Yet would you have some pity for my sake. 
Because it is my country's and my father's. 

Tamb. Not for the world, Zenocrate, if I have sworn. 
Come, bring in the Turk. \_Exeunt. 


SoLDAN, Arabia, Capolin, with streaming colours, and 


Sold. Methinks we march as Meleager did. 
Environed with brave Argolian knights. 
To chase the savage Calydonian boar. 
Or Cephalus, with lusty Theban youths. 
Against the wolf that angry Themis sent 
To waste and spoil the sweet Aonian fields. 
A monster of five hundred thousand heads, 
Compact of rapine, piracy and spoil, 
The scum of men, the hate and scourge of God, 
Raves in Egyptia, and annoyeth us. 10 

Scene Hi. 

Heading. S.D. streaming] steaming O^ Og. 3. Calydonian'] Caldonian 
Oi Calcedonian O3 O4. 4. lusty] om. O4. 

124. country's] Robinson and seems to have been a favourite 

some later editors would read with Marlowe at this time. The 

' country ' here. There seems no legend, ultimately derived from 

reason for rejecting the reading of Homer, probably reached Marlowe 

the octavos. The city Damascus, through Ovid {Metam. viii. 270 ff.). 

of which Zenocrate is speaking, 4-6. Cephalus . . . Aonian fields] 

belongs to her country and to her This again is Ovid's version of the 

father. story of Cephalus rather than that 

Scene Hi. of the Greek poets. (See Metam. 

1-3. as Meleager . . . Calydonian vii. 762 ff .) 

boar] The story of Meleager and the 10. annoyeth] has a somewhat 

hunting of the Calydonian boar stronger force in Elizabethan Eng- 


My lord, it is the bloody Tamburlaine, 

A sturdy felon and a base bred thief, 

Bv murder raised to the Persian crown, 

.... f, 

That dares control us m our territories. 4 

To tame the pride of this presumptuous beast, jj 

Join your Arabians with the Soldan's power ; <t! 

Let us unite our royal bands m one, 4 

And hasten to remove Damascus' siege. _'ii 

It is a blemish to the majesty ,1 

And high estate of mighty emperors, 20 * 

That such a base usurping vagabond | 

Should brave a king, or wear a princely crown. '^ 

Arab. Renowmed Soldan, have ye lately heard '^ 

The overthrow of mighty Bajazeth 

About the confines of Bithynia ? 

The slavery wherewith he persecutes 

The noble Turk and his great emperess ? 

Sold. I have, and sorrow for his bad success ; oi 

But, noble lord of great Arabia, fi 

Be so persuaded that the Soldan is 30 

No more dismayed with tidings of his fall, "< 

Than in the haven when the pilot stands, '^ 

And views a stranger's ship rent in the winds, | 

And shivered against a craggy rock. 

Yet in compassion of his wretched state, 

A sacred vow to heaven and him I make, 

Confirming it with Ibis' holy name, 

12. and] om. O^- 14- dares] dare O2-4. 17. bands] handes O4. 

lish than in modern, and often 32—3. in the haven. . . winds] The 

bears, as here, the specifically image immediately recalls that of 

military sense of molest. Compare Lucretius {De Rer. Nat. 11. 1—2), a 

Milton's use (P.L. vi. 369) : ' Nor writer with whom it is hard 

stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy to believe Marlowe unacquainted, 

The Atheist crew.' though actual parallels are not 

28. bad success] ill fortune. Cf. readily found. 
Ralegh, Discov. Guiana, 17 : ' The 37. Ibis' holy name] see note iv, 

hard successe which all these and ii. 105. 
other Spaniards found in attempt- 
ing the same.' 

148 THE FIRST PART OF [activ 

That Tamburlaine shall rue the day, the hour, 
Wherein he wrought such ignominious wrong 
Unto the hallowed person of a prince, 40 

Or kept the fair Zenocrate so long, 
As concubine, I fear, to feed his lust. 

Arab. Let grief and fury hasten on revenge ; 
Let Tamburlaine for his offences feel 
Such plagues as heaven and we can pour on him. 
I long to break my spear upon his crest, 
And prove the weight of his victorious arm ; 
For fame, I fear, hath been too prodigal 
In sounding through the world his partial praise. 

Sold. Capolin, hast thou surveyed our powers ? 50 

Capol. Great emperors of Egypt and Arabia, 
The number of your hosts united is, 
A hundred and fifty thousand horse, 
Two hundred thousand foot, brave men-at-arms, 
Courageous and full of hardiness. 
As frolic as the hunters in the chase 
Of savage beasts amid the desert woods. 

Arab. My mind presageth fortunate success ; 
And, Tamburlaine, my spirit doth foresee 
The utter ruin of thy men and thee. 60 

Sold. Then rear your standards ; let your sounding drums 
Direct our soldiers to Damascus' walls. 
Now, Tamburlaine, the mighty Soldan comes, 
And leads with him the great Arabian king. 
To dim thy baseness and obscurity, 
Famous for nothing but for theft and spoil ; 
To raze and scatter thy inglorious crew 
Of Scythians and slavish Persians. [Exeunt. 

38. the hour] and houre O4. 55. and] om. O4. 65. thy baseness and] 
the basnesse of O4. 



The banquet, and to it cometh Tamburlaine all in scarlet, 
Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane, the Turk with 

Tamb. Now hang our bloody colours by Damascus, 
Reflexing hues of blood upon their heads, 
While they walk quivering on their city walls, 
Half dead for fear before they feel my wrath. 
Then let us freely banquet and carouse 
Full bowls of wine unto the god of war, 
That means to fill your helmets full of gold, 
And make Damascus spoils as rich to you 
As was to Jason Colchos' golden fleece. 
And now, Bajazeth, hast thou any stomach ? lo 

Baj. Ay, such a stomach, cruel Tamburlaine, as I could 
willingly feed upon thy blood-raw heart. 

Tamb. Nay, thine own is easier to come by ; pluck out that 
and 'twill serve thee and thy wife. Well, Zenocrate, 
Techelles, and the rest, fall to your victuals. 

Baj. Fall to, and never may your meat digest ! 
Ye Furies, that can mask invisible. 

Scene iv. 
Heading Scene 4] Actus 4 : Scaena 5 O^.g. 17. masTi] walke O3 O4. 

Scene iv. possible to confirm this suspicion 
Tamburlaine all in scarlet] Bullen by the fragments of blank verse 
first drew attention to the entry in which are buried in the prose 
Henslowe's Diary (Mar. 13, 1598) : passages. The lines in this scene 
' Tamberlanes breches of crymson do not appear to contain any such 
velvett.' fragments, with the exception of 
9. Colchos' golden fleece'] The Bajazet's speech here, which, 
legend of the Argonautae and the with the omission of ' willingly " 
expedition to Colchis is to be found scans as two blank verse lines, but 
in several ancient writers, of whom we can say with confidence, none 
Ovid at least was familiar to the less, that they are not of Mar- 
Marlowe (see Metam. vii. i ff. ; lowe's writing ; he was capable 
Her. VI, I ff . and Her. xii. i £E.). of (and far more at ease in) con- 
11-15. Ay, such . . . victuals] ducting such a dialogue as this in 
Prose, always a warning signal in rhetorical blank verse (cf. iii. iii). 
Marlowe's dialogue, here possibly 17. Furies . . . invisible] There 
represents either condensation or seems little need to invest the 
interpolation. In many cases in Erinyes with the power of invisi- 
this play and in Faustus it is bility as Bajazet does here. 



[act IV 

Dive to the bottom of Avernas pool, 

And in your hands bring helKsh poison up, 

And squeeze it in the cup of Tamburlaine ! 20 

Or, winged snakes of Lerna, cast your stings. 

And leave 3/our venoms in this tyrant's dish. 

Zah. And may this banquet prove as ominous 
As Progne's to th' adulterous Thracian king 
That fed upon the substance of his child ! 

Zeno. My lord, how can you suffer these 

Outrageous curses by these slaves of yours ? 

Tamh. To let them see, divine Zenocrate, 
I glory in the curses of my foes, 
Having the power from the imperial heaven 30 

To turn them all upon their proper heads. 

Tech. I pray you, give them leave, madam ; this speech is 
a goodly refreshing to them. 

Ther. But if his highness would let them be fed, it would do 
them more good. 

Tamh. Sirrah, why fall you not to ? are you so daintily 
brought up, you cannot eat your own flesh ? 

33. goodly] good O3 O4. to] for O^. 

not eat] cannot not eat O3. 

Throughout Greek mythology the 
Avengers have no difficulty in 
carrying out their purposes with- 
out this aid. Marlowe's impres- 
sion may have been due in the first 
place to the common association of 
the classical lower world with 
darkness, and in the second to 
allusions in Christian literature to 
the ' unseen ' powers of evil. 
These grim deities seem to have 
been favourites with Marlowe : he 
reverts to them, with a pleasing 
fantasy, at the end of the first 
sestiad of Hero and Leander. He 
seems, moreover, to make little 
distinction between the Furies and 
the Fates, a confusion possibly 
traceable to passages such as 
Metam. iv. 450 ff., where the two 
groups are mentioned in close 

36. you not] ye not O3 O4. 37. can- 

18. Avernas] see i. ii. 159 and 

24. Progne's . . . king] For the 
story of Procne, Philomela and 
Tereus, king of Thrace, who was 
deceived by Procne into eating their 
child Itys, Marlowe is indebted 
again to Ovid {Met. vi. 565). It 
is worth noting that here, as in 
other cases where there are various 
versions of a tale, Marlowe follows 
the O vidian version. 

26. My lord . . . these] The line 
lacks two syllables. Various con- 
jectures have been made to supply 
the defect : ' tamely suffer ', Dyce 
etc. ; ' My gracious Lord ', Wagner. 

30. imperial] represents more 
nearly the ' Emperiall ' of the 
octavos than the ' empyreal ' of 
some later editors. In such a 
passage as this it is hard to say 


Baj. First, legions of devils shall tear thee in pieces. 
JJsum. Villain, knowest thou to whom thou speakest ? 
Tamh. 0, let him alone. Here ; eat, sir ; take it from my 

sword's point, or I'll thrust it to thy heart. 41 

[He takes it, and stamps upon it. 
Ther. He stamps it under his feet, my lord. 
Tamh. Take it up, villain, and eat it ; or I will make thee 

slice the brawns of thy arms into carbonadoes and eat 

Usum. Nay, 'twere better he killed his wife, and then she 

shall be sure not to be starv'd, and he be provided for 

a month's victual beforehand. 
Tamh. Here is my dagger ; despatch her while she is fat, 

for if she live but a while longer, she will fall into a 

consumption with fretting, and then she will not be 

worth the eating. 52 

Ther. Dost thou think that Mahomet will suffer this ? 

Tech. 'Tis like he will, when he cannot let it. «i 

Tamh. Go to ; fall to your meat. What, not a bit ? ^^ 

Belike he hath not been watered to-day ; give him some 

drink. 1 

[They give him water to drink, and he 
flings it on the ground. 
Fast, and welcome, sir, while hunger make you eat. 

40. Here] there O3 O4. JYorn] up from O4. 44. slice'] fiice O3 fleece 
O4. 50. jalV] not jail O4. 

which word is meant or whether a similar context {Coy. iv. v. 198 

distinction in spelHng was observed seq.) : ' Before Corioh he scotched 

by the printers. him and notched him hke a car- 

44. slice] The relations between bonado.' 

the four texts are clearly indicated 53-4- IS't] hinder. 

by the variants in this line. O^ O2 5O. watevecC] used transitively, 

read 'slice'; O3, by a common with an animate creature for object, 

error, substitutes ' f ' for long ' s ' was confined in Elizabethan Eng- 

and reads ' flice ' ; O4, endeavour- lish, as in modern, to the giving 

ing to make sense of this, reads of drink to horses and cattle, or to 

' fleece ', a form not likely to have an army on the march. 

been arrived at had the printer of 58. while] until. Compare Mac- 

O4 worked directly from O^ O^- beth, iii. i. 44 : ' While then, God 

carbonadoes], steaks, thin strips be with you ! ' and the modem 

of meat. Shakespeare uses it in a Scots and Irish usage. 


152 THE FIRST PART OF [act iv 

How now, Zenocrate, doth not the Turk and his wife 
make a goodly show at a banquet ? 60 

Zeno. Yes, my lord. 

Ther. Methinks 'tis a great deal better than a consort of 

Tamb. Yet music would do well to cheer up Zenocrate. 
Pray thee tell, why art thou so sad ? if thou wilt have a 
song, the Turk shall strain his voice. But why is it ? 

Zeno. My lord, to see my father's town besieg'd. 
The country wasted, where myself was born. 
How can it but afflict my very soul ? 
If any love remain in you, my lord, 70 

Or if my love unto your majesty 
May merit favour at your highness' hands. 
Then raise your siege from fair Damascus walls, 
And with my father take a friendly truce. 

Tamb. Zenocrate, were Egypt Jove's own land, 

Yet would I with my sword make Jove to stoop. 

I will confute those blind geographers 

That make a triple region in the world. 

Excluding regions which I mean to trace. 

And with this pen reduce them to a map, 80 

Calling the provinces, cities and towns 

After my name and thine, Zenocrate. 

62. than] then O3 O4. y^. friendly] frindly O^. 

61. Yes, my lord] Zenocrate's occur until the late seventeenth 
mood is consistent throughout this century. 

scene. She has not spoken, except 78. triple region] Marlowe is 

for the half-protesting words of thinking of the three great groups 

11. 26-27, until now when Tambur- of land, America, Europe with 

laine directly addresses her. The Asia, and Africa. The continent 

brevity of her reply brings his of Australasia was as yet only a 

attention at once to her sadness, rumour. Tamburlaine intends to 

for which he can see no reason. re-map the world, discovering fresh 

Marlowe has well revealed the con- territories and naming them. Da- 

trast between the two characters. mascus shall be the centre of this 

62. a consort of music] as usually new world, through it shall travel 
in the late sixteenth century, a the zero line upon his map from 
company of musicians. The use which longitude shall in future be 
of the phrase to mean a musical calculated. 

entertainment does not seem to 


Here at Damascus will I make the point 

That shall begin the perpendicular ; 

And wouldst thou have me buy thy father's love 

With such a loss ? tell me, Zenocrate. 
Zeno. Honour still wait on happy Tamburlaine. 

Yet give me leave to plead for him, my lord. 
Tamh. Content thyself ; his person shall be safe, 

And all the friends of fair Zenocrate, 90 

If with their lives they will be pleas'd to yield, 

Or may be forc'd to make me emperor ; 

For Egypt and Arabia must be mine. 

Feed, you slave ; thou mayst think thyself happy to 

be fed from my trencher. 
Baj. My empty stomach, full of idle heat. 

Draws bloody humours from my feeble parts. 

Preserving life by hasting cruel death. 

My veins are pale, my sinews hard and dry. 

My joints benumb'd ; unless I eat, I die. 100 

Zah. Eat, Bajazeth. Let us live in spite of them, looking 

some happy power will pity and enlarge us. 
Tamb. Here Turk, wilt thou have a clean trencher ? 
Baj. Ay, tyrant, and more meat. 
Tamb. Soft sir, you must be dieted ; too much eating will 

make you surfeit. 

85. thy] my O^. 98. hasting] hastening O^O^. 100. benumb'd] benumbd 
O2 be numb d O3 O4. 

84. the perpendicular] The imag- physiology seems never, as has 

inary line dropped from any given been noticed above, to have been 

point on the earth's surface to the so extensive as his knowledge of 

celestial grand circle, so determin- more abstract sciences. In his 

ing the zenith of that place and later work there are very few 

establishing a meridian. Tambur- physiological descriptions or ex- 

laine means that he will make planations, and even in this play, 

Damascus the zero of the new map which contains more than any 

of the world that he is going to create, other, we find only academic 

as Greenwich is now the zero of knowledge derived ultimately from 

British maps, by making its meridian Aristotle and showing no recogni- 

the first meridian, or longitude 0°. tion of the more advanced of 

96-100. my empty stomach . . . contemporary discoveries. 
penumb'd] Marlowe's knowledge of 

154 THE FIRST PART OF [act iv 

Ther. So it would, my lord, specially having so small a walk 
and so little exercise. 

Enter a second course of crowns. 

Tamb. Theridamas, Techelles and Casane, here are the cates 
you desire to finger, are they not ? no 

Ther. Ay, my lord ; but none save kings must feed with these. 

Tech. 'Tis enough for us to see them, and for Tamburlaine 
only to enjoy them. 

Tamb. Well ; here is now to the Soldan of Egypt, the King 
of Arabia, and the Governor of Damascus. 
Now, take these three crowns. 
And pledge me, my contributory kings. 
I crown you here, Theridamas, king of Argier ; 
Techelles, king of Fesse ; and Usumcasane, 
King of Moroccus. How say you to this, Turk ? 
These are not your contributory kings. 

Baj. Nor shall they long be thine, I warrant them. 122 

Tamb. Kings of Argier, Moroccus, and of Fesse, 

You that have marched with happy Tamburlaine 
As far as from the frozen place of heaven 
Unto the watery morning's ruddy bower. 
And thence by land unto the torrid zone. 
Deserve these titles I endow you with. 
By valour and by magnanimity. 

107. specially] especially O3 O4. 126. bower] hower O^ Og. 129. valour] 
Rob. etc. value 0^_^. 

115-121. Now, take . . . kings] of history than with the routes 

This passage, generally printed as described in the play, which are 

prose (as in the octavos), has here mainly South and West from 

been divided according to the Tamburlaine's starting-point, 

suggestion of Bullen, so that it 125. place] For ' place ' of 

reads as rough blank verse. O1-4 many editors read ' plage ', 

125-7. ^^ f^'^ • • • torrid zone] a reading which is supported by 

Tartary and Scythia were pictured that of II. i. i. 68, and by Miss 

by the Elizabethans as lands of Seaton's reference {R.E.S., p. 397) 

ice and snow lying to the far north. to Clauserus' and Bibliander's 

Tamburlaine's marches have led use of the word in the sense of 

him from North to East and shore or region : ' Versus Orien- 

from there to the tropical south. talem plagam ' and ' in orientali 

This squares better with the records plaga '. 



Your births shall be no blemish to your fame ; 130 
For virtue is the fount whence honour springs, 
And they are worthy she invest eth kings. 

Ther. And, since your highness hath so well vouchsafed. 
If we deserve them not with higher meeds 
Than erst our states and actions have retained, 
Take them away again and make us slaves. 

Tamb. Well said, Theridamas. When holy Fates 
Shall stablish me in strong Egypt ia. 
We mean to travel to th* antarctic pole, 
Conquering the people underneath our feet, 
And be renowm'd as never emperors were. 
Zenocrate, I will not crown thee yet, f^^ 

Until with greater honours I be grac'd. '\ { 

Finis Actus qiiarti. 

131. whence] where O4. 136. again] om. O3 O4. 139. th' antarctic] th' 
Antatique O^ th' Antartique O2 O3 the Antartique O4. 

130-3. Your births . . . kings] A 
sentiment which Marlowe, the 
scholar of Corpus Christi, loses no 
opportunity of expressing. 

131. virtue] power and ability. 

137. holy Fates] Marlowe blends 
again the language of Christendom 
and paganism. 

139-40. We mean . . . feet] With 
this boast, and with the lingering 
thought of the southern stars 
(Part II, III. ii. 29-31) we may con- 
trast Tamburlaine's regrets as he 
surveys the map of the world upon 
his death-bed (II. v. iii. 154-8). 


ACT V ^# 



The Governor of Damasco with three or four Citizens, 
and four Virgins with branches of laurel in their hands. 

Gov. Still doth this man, or rather god of war, 
Batter our walls and beat our turrets down ; 
And to resist with longer stubbornness, 
Or hope of rescue from the Soldan's power. 
Were but to bring our wilful overthrow, 
And make us desperate of our threatened lives. 
We see his tents have now been altered 
With terrors to the last and cruel'st hue ; 
His coal-black colours, everywhere advanced, 
Threaten our city with a general spoil ; lo 

And if we should with common rites of arms 
Offer our safeties to his clemency, 
I fear the custom proper to his sword. 
Which he observes as parcel of his fame. 
Intending so to terrify the world. 
By any innovation or remorse 
Will never be dispensed with till our deaths. 
Therefore, for these our harmless virgins' sakes. 
Whose honours and whose lives rely on him. 
Let us have hope that their unspotted prayers, 20 

Act V. Scene i. 
8. cruel' sf] crulest O3. 18. sakes] sake O3 O4. 

ness ... is parcel of the wor- 

Act V. Scene i. shipping of God.' 

14. parcel of] an essential part 20 seq. Let us . . . conqueror] 

of. N.E.D. cites Norton's tr. of In the sending out of the Damascan 

Norvell's Catechism (1570) : ' To virgins Marlowe has combined the 

praise and magnify God's good- records given by Mexia, Peron- 



Their blubbered cheeks and hearty humble moans 
Will melt his fury into some remorse, 
And use us like a loving conqueror. 

Vtrg. If humble suits or imprecations 

(Uttered with tears of wretchedness and blood 

Shed from the heads and hearts of all our sex, 

Some made your wives, and some your children,) 

Might have entreated your obdurate breasts 

To entertain some care of our securities 

Whiles only danger beat upon our walls, 30 

These more than dangerous warrants of our death 

Had never been erected as they be, 

Nor you depend on such weak helps as we. 

Gov. Well, lovely virgins, think our country's care. 
Our love of honour, loath to be enthrall'd 
To foreign powers and rough imperious yokes, 
Would not with too much cowardice or fear, 
Before all hope of rescue were denied. 
Submit yourselves and us to servitude. 
Therefore, in that your safeties and our own, 40 

Your honours, liberties, and lives were weigh'd 
In equal care and balance with our own, 
Endure as we the malice of our stars. 
The wrath of Tamburlaine and power of wars ; 

29. care] cares O^. 31 • than] then O3 O4. 33. helps] help O4. 37. too] 
two O4. 44. power] powers O4. 

dinus and others of the taking of treatment of Bajazet and the legend 
Damascus and of an unnamed city of the tents, seems to have a his- 
which rashly delayed submission torical basis. Arabshah, Schilt- 
until too late, and then sent emis- berger and Chalcondylas agree in 
saries to beg for mercy. None of describing some such massacre, 
these versions make the emissaries either at Ispahan or at Sebastia. 
virgins only ; Mexia has women 24. imprecations] prayers. Mar- 
aud children ; Perondinus, like lowe's usage is nearer to the Latin 
Pius, girls and boys ; Granucci, than is the modern English, 
priests, boys, women and children. 29. securities] either safety, se- 
AU agree as to their destruction by curity (somewhat unusually, con- 
Tamburlaine ; Mexia, Perondinus crete and plural), or protection, 
and the majority of the others say defence. The N.E.D. gives no 
they were destroyed by a cavalry examples of a similar plural usage 
charge. This episode, unlike the at this time. 

158 THE FIRST PART OF [act v 

Or be the means the overweighing heavens 
Have kept to qualify these hot extremes, 
And bring us pardon in your cheerful looks. 

2. Virg. Then here, before the majesty of heaven 
And holy patrons of Egyptia, 

With knees and hearts submissive we entreat 50 

Grace to our words and pity to our looks. 
That this device may prove propitious, 
And through the eyes and ears of Tamburlaine 
Convey events of mercy to his heart ; 
Grant that these signs of victory we yield 
May bind the temples of his conquering head, 
To hide the folded furrows of his brows. 
And shadow his displeased countenance 
With happy looks of ruth and lenity. 
Leave us, my lord, and loving countrymen : 60 

What simple virgins may persuade, we will. 

Gov. Farewell, sweet virgins, on whose safe return 
Depends our city, liberty, and lives. 

[Exeunt all except the Virgins. 


Tamburlaine, Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane, 
with others. Tamburlaine all in black and very 

Tamb. What, are the turtles frayed out of their nests ? 
Alas, poor fools, must you be first shall feel 
The sworn destruction of Damascus ? 

63. S.D. all . . . Virgins] Add. Dyce. 

45. overweighing] preponderating, laurel boughs, here symbolical of 

overruling. victory to be resigned to Tambur- 

54. events] as in iii. ii. 16, results, laine, are substituted by Marlowe 

effects. The idea here seems to be for the olive branches which in the 

that a merciful result or outcome versions of Mexia and Perondinus 

may be suggested to Tamburlaine. conveyed the desire for peace. 
Collier's suggested emendation ' in- 
tents ' is, I think, unnecessary. Scene ii. 

55-6. these signs of victory] The i. turtles] turtle-doves. 


The}^ know my custom ; could they not as well 
Have sent ye out when first my milk-white flags, 
Through which sweet Mercy threw her gentle beams, 
Reflexed them on your disdainful eyes. 
As now when fury and incensed hate 
Flings slaughtering terror from my coal-black tents. 
And tells for truth submissions comes too late ? lo 
I. Virg. Most happy king and emperor of the earth, 
Image of honour and nobility, 

For whom the powers divine have made the world. 
And on whose throne the holy graces sit ; 
In whose sweet person is compris'd the sum 
Of nature's skill and heavenly majesty ; 
Pity our plights ! O, pity poor Damascus ! 
Pity old age, within whose silver hairs 
Honour and reverence evermore have reign'd. 
Pity the marriage bed, where many a lord 20 

In prime and glory of his loving joy 
Embraceth now with tears of ruth and blood 
The jealous body of his fearful wife, 
Whose cheeks and hearts, so punished with conceit. 
To think thy puissant never-stayed arm 
Will part their bodies and prevent their souls 
From heavens of comfort yet their age might bear. 
Now wax all pale and withered to the death. 
As well for grief our ruthless governor 
Have thus refused the mercy of thy hand, 30 

(Whose sceptre angels kiss and furies dread,) 
As for their liberties, their loves, or lives. 
O, then, for these and such as we ourselves. 

Scene ii. 

4. know] knew Og. 8. As] and O4. 9. tents] tent O3 O4. 10. comes] 
come O3. 22. of ruth and] and ruth of O4. 30. Have] Hath O3 O4. 

5. flags] perhaps a reminiscence Wagner and others have done, 
of Fortescue's ' ensigns '. Tamburlaine is speaking to the 

7. yowr] It seems hardly necessary virgins as they approach him. 
to emend to ' their ' as Dyce, 

160 THE FIRST PART OF [actv 

For us, for infants, and for all our bloods. 
That never nourished thought against thy rule. 
Pity, O pity, sacred emperor. 
The prostrate service of this wretched town ; 
And take in sign thereof this gilded wreath. 
Whereto each man of rule hath given his hand, 
And wished, as worthy subjects, happy means 40 
To be investers of thy royal brows 
Even with the true Egyptian diadem. 

Tamb. Virgins, in vain ye labour to prevent 

That which mine honour swears shall be perform'd. 
Behold my sword ; what see you at the point ? 

Vir. Nothing but fear and fatal steel, my lord. 

Tamb. Your fearful minds are thick and misty, then. 
For there sits Death ; there sits imperious Death, 
Keeping his circuit by the slicing edge. 
But I am pleased you shall not see him there ; 50 
He now is seated on my horsemen's spears, 
And on their points his fleshless body feeds. 
Techelles, straight go charge a few of them 
To charge these dames, and shew my servant Death, 
Sitting in scarlet on their armed spears. 

Omnes. O, pity us ! 

Tamb. Away with them, I say, and shew them Death. 

[They take them away. 
I will not spare these proud Egyptians, 
Nor change my martial observations 
For all the wealth of Gihon's golden waves, 60 

35. nourished] nourish O3 O4. 37. prostrate] prostarte O3. 40. wished] 
wish O3 O4. 43. ye] you Og. 50. there] chere O3 O4. 

34. bloods] metonymy for lives with that reached by Tamburlaine's 

or spirits. sword. Tamburlaine's personifica- 

48-9. Death . . . edge] the im- tion of Death is interesting, the 

perious judge, holds his court on the image is almost invariably that of 

edge of Tamburlaine's sword, the a destroyer as in this speech. (Cf. 

image being that of a judge's circuit. Part II, 11. iv. 83-4 ; v. iii. 67-71.) 

Or, more simply, the domain of 59. observations] observances. 

Death, the area through which he rites, 

ranges (his circuit), is co-terminous 60. Gihon] the second river of 


Or for the love of Venus, would she leave 
The angry god of arms and lie with me. 
They have refused the offer of their lives, 
And know my customs are as peremptory 
As wrathful planets, death, or destiny. 

Enter Techelles. 

What, have your horsemen shown the virgins Death ? 

Tech. They have, my lord, and on Damascus' walls 
Have hoisted up their slaughtered carcasses. 

Tamh. A sight as baneful to their souls, I think, 

As are Thessalian drugs or mithridate. 70 

But go, my lords, put the rest to the sword. 

Ah, fair Zenocrate, divine Zenocrate, 
/Fair is too foul an epithet for thee,j 
ihat in thy passion for thy country's love, 
And fear to see thy kingly father's harm, 
With hair dishevelled wip'st thy w^atery cheeks ; 
And like to Flora in her morning's pride, 
Shaking her silver tresses in the air, 
Rain'st on the earth resolved pearl in showers. 
And sprinklest sapphires on thy shining face, 80 

Where Beauty, mother to the Muses, sits, 

76. dishevelled] discheweld O^ Og dischevaeld O3 O4. 78. tresses] 
treshes Oj O3 O4. 

Eden, ' that encompasseth. the Marlowe's knowledge. See Horace, 
whole land of Ethiopia ' {Genesis ii. Od., i. 27, 21 ; Ovid, Metam., vii. 
13), sometimes identified, as by 264, etc., and especially Am., iii. 
Broughton, with the Oxus of the 7, 27 : ' num mea Thessalico 
ancients, ' and the gold of that languet devota veneno corpora ? 
land is good '. num misero carmen et herba 
70. Thessalian] the land of witch- nocent ? ' Mithridate is generally 
craft (spoken of by Plato, Aristo- an antidote to poisons, here it is 
phanes, Horace, Ovid, etc.) bore a the poison itself, 
reputation for magic and strange 72. Ah, fair Zenocrate . . .] Such 
drugs, never better revealed than in a transition is ever characteristic of 
The Golden Ass of Apuleius or the Tamburlaine and of Marlowe, 
sixth book of Lucan's Pharsalia. 81. Beauty, mother to the Muses] 
Ovid, Horace or Lucan is most The genealogy is, of course. Mar- 
likely to have been the source of lowe's own. 



[act V 


And comments volumes with her ivory pen, 
Taking instructions from thy flowing eyes, 
Eyes, when that Ebena steps to heaven, n" 

In silence of thy solemn evening's walk. 
Making the mantle of the richest night. 
The moon, the planets, and the meteors, light. 
There angels in their crystal armours fight y 

A doubtful battle with my tempted thoughts 
For Egypt's freedom and the Soldan's life. 
His life that so consumes Zenocrate ; 
Whose sorrows lay more siege unto my soul 
Than all my army to Damascus' walls ; 
And neither Persia's sovereign nor the Turk 
Troubled my senses with conceit of foil 
So much by much as doth Zenocrate. 
What is beauty, saith my sufferings, then ? 

S8. fight] fights O^O^. 94. Persia's] Rob. etc. Perseans [Persians) 0-^_^. 



84. Eyes] must, as this line stands, 
be accented as a dissyllable. Ebena] 
has long been untraceable. Classi- 
cal mythology knows no such 
deity. It is just possible that 
Marlowe had read, in some source 
unknown to his editors, a phrase 
such as ' Nux ebenina ', though 
the adjective from ' ebenus ' does 
not occur in classical Latin. Even 
were this so, we should have to 
assume, first that Marlowe mistook 
the quantity (a rare thing with him, 
but the more pardonable in that 
the word could not in any event 
occur in a verse source) and 
secondly that a minim misprint 
has occurred in the text and that 
the line should read ' Eyes when 
that Ebenina steps to heaven '. 
The construction is perhaps a 
little unusual ; Zenocrate's eyes 
prompt Beauty to her wisest reflec- 
tions, giving, at evening, light to 
the luminaries of heaven. From 
those eyes, moreover, comes the 
fiercest battle that is raised against 
Tamburlaine's ambitious thoughts. 

95. conceit] conception, idea. 

97-110. What is beauty . . . can di- 

gest] This passage has been over- 
praised. It is fine rhetoric, but 
there is surely more poetry in the 
broken passage that follows and cer- 
tainly in many others in the play. 
Marlowe is self-conscious and has 
filled out his lines with phrases 
characteristic of the prompting of 
self-consciousness rather than of 
passion. If we consider frankly 
phrases such as ' sweetness 
that inspir'd their hearts ', ' muses 
on admyred theames ', ' flowers of 
Poesy ', ' restlesse heads ' and, 
most betraying of all, the charac- 
teristic ' at the least ' (so like the 
equally characteristic ' and the 
rest ') we agree with Broughton's 
honest and independent comment : 
' The author in this speech " appre- 
hends a world of figures ' ' but has not 
expressed them very felicitously. 
He apparently aimed at producing 
a sample of fine writing, and, to 
confess the truth, succeeded per- 
fectly.' Had the passage been 
written in rime, it would have been 
fitter for the Essay on Criticism than 
for Tamburlaine upon the battle- 


If all the pens that ever poets held 
Had fed the feeling of their masters' thoughts. 
And every sweetness that inspir'd their hearts, lOO --^^^ ^ 
Their minds and muses on admired themes ; ^ y... ^y^^ j4\ i ^ 

If all the heavenly quintessence they still ,„^2(\^^ , 'p f 

From their immortal flowers of poesy, t/ ■ Q-,^ [, i 

Wherein as in a mirror we perceive .qC .\jy _J Ij; 

The highest reaches of a human wit — y .,^ s, , 

If these had made one poem's period. 

And all combin'd in beauty's worthiness, i 

Yet should there hover in their restless heads ;' ; 

One thought, one grace, one wonder, at the least, m 

Which into words no virtue can digest. \ no u 

;But how unseemly is it for my sex, ''' "'^'^'^ j^^^Qf^Q^'tO^ 
My discipline of arms and chivalry, \v>-i^^ 

My nature, and the terror of my name. 
To harbour thoughts effeminate and faint ! 
Save only that in beauty's just applause, 

114. harbour] habour O3. effeminate] effemiate O3 O4. 

115 seq. Save only . . . nobility] by an interpolated sentence, 'And 

What follows is in complete con- every . . . conceits ') which can- 

trast to the rhetoric of the pre- not without violence be yoked to 

ceding lines, a penetrating analysis 1. 120. A further, similar, diffi- 

(unfortunately confused by an culty occurs in 1. 126, in which 

obviously corrupt text) of the ' that ' may be a conjunction and 

power of beauty over the soul of ' virtue ' bear the general meaning 

man. of ' power ', * capacity ', or ' that ' 

115-27. This passage presents be a demonstrative adjective re- 
more textual difficulty than any ferring ' virtue ' back to ' beauty ' 
other in the play. The lines of 1. 119, or to the power of con- 
120-4 present in themselves a ceiving and subduing it of 1. 120. 
series of problems and have been Briefly I should paraphrase the 
freely emended and discussed, but original reading as follows, itali- 
they do not seriously affect the cizing the phrase supplied to com- 
meaning of the whole passage. plete the idea that seems implicit 
This meaning is, however, ob- in the development of the thought 
scured for other reasons. Lines from 1. 72 to 127 : 
1 15-16 read, in all the early texts, ' [It is a disgrace to a soldier to 
' Save only that in beauty's just harbour effeminate thoughts] Ex- 
applause, etc' a reading which cept for the fact that in a just 
(taking ' that ' as a conjunction), reverence for beauty, with the 
though presenting a movement of prompting of which the soul of 
thought and metre highly charac- man is stirred, lies one of the main 
teristic of Marlowe, leaves us with sources of valour — and every war- 
an unfinished sentence (followed rior . . . needs the stimulus of 



[act V 

With whose instinct the soul of man is touched, 

And every warrior that is rapt with love 

Of fame, of valour, and of victory. 

Must needs have beauty beat on his conceits, 

I thus conceiving, and subduing both. 

That which hath stopt the tempest of the gods. 

Even from the fiery spangled veil of heaven. 

To feel the lovely warmth of shepherds' flames. 

And march in cottages of strowed weeds. 


122. fiery spangled] spangled firie O3 O4. 
cottages'] cottges O3 coatches O4. 

124. march] martch 0^_^. 

beauty to urge his thought to its 
highest achievement. I, who can 
both acknowledge beauty and hold 
it to its due function, even that 
beauty which has reduced the gods 
etc. . . . shall reveal to the world, 
despite my birth, that this dual 
power is alone the highest glory 
and alone fashions a noble man.' 

The alternative interpretation of 
the Oi_4 reading of 11. 11 5-1 6 re- 
moves the need to supply words 
omitted by the author or the 
printer, but gives a somewhat 
strained syntax and a general effect 
unlike Marlowe's writing at this 
time, ' No effeminate thought 
should be harboured by a warrior 
except that (thought) in the 
applause of beauty, etc' 

A third suggestion has been 
made to me which seems to allow of 
both thought and metrical form 
worthy of the concluding couplet 
of a long Marlovian debate, with- 
out either straining the syntax or 
fathering upon Marlowe anything 
so unusual or so slovenly as an 
unfinished sentence. It involves 
the not improbable transposition 
of ' in ' and ' that ' by the printer 
which, when adjusted, would give 
' No effeminate thought . . . ex- 
cept in the just applause of that 
beauty with whose instinct . . .' etc. 

The separate group of problems 
presented by the obviously corrupt 
lines 1 2 1-4 has been variously 
handled. The reading of Oj is 

given in the text, as in the Oxford 
edition, the readings of 03-4, where 
they differ from Oi, in the critical 
apparatus and in the notes below , 
The following are the emendations 
that have been suggested : 

121. stopt] stoopt Dyce ^ etc. 
tempest temper Collier, tempers 
Fraser's Mag., Brereton. chief est, 
Dyce 2 to Wagner, etc. topmost, 

122. fiery spangled] Oi_2- span- 
gled firie O3 O4. Collier and Dyce ^ 
conjectured fire-y spangled. For 
vaile of Oi_4, Collier somewhat 
unnecessarily suggested vault. 

123. lovely] lowly conj. Collier, 
Cunningham, Bullen, Brereton. 

124. martch] mask, conj. Brough- 
ton, Dyce to Wag., etc. match 
conj. Fraser's Mag. and Brereton. 
cottages 0/ Oi_2. cottges of O3. 
coatches of O4.] cottagers' off- 
strowed, conj. Broughton. of] on, 
conj. Cook, weeds] reeds Dyce ^ etc. 

The mistakes implied in some of 
these emendations are such as are 
not likely to occur in setting up 
from an Elizabethan manuscript 
(for example, ' martch ' from an 
original ' mask '), while other sug- 
gestions are neither necessary nor 
helpful to the interpretation. Keep- 
ing the original reading, the fol- 
lowing paraphrase, among others, 
can be made : ' That [i.e. beauty] 
which has brought down the 
wrath of the Gods [therefore, by 
metonymy, " the Gods "] even 


Shall give the world to note, for all my birth. 
That virtue solely is the sum of glory. 
And fashions men with true nobility. 
Who's within there ? 

Enter two or three. 

Hath Bajazeth been fed to-day ? 
Attend. Ay, my lord. 130 

Tamh. Bring him forth ; and let us know if the town be 


Enter Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane, and others. 

Tech. The town is ours, my lord, and fresh supply 
Of conquest and of spoil is offered us. 

Tamh. That's well, Techelles. What's the news ? 

Tech. The Soldan and the Arabian king together 
March on us with such eager violence 
As if there were no way but one with us. 

Tamh. No more there is not, I warrant thee, Techelles. 

They hring in the Turk. 

Ther. We know the victory is ours, my lord, 140 

But let us save the reverend Soldan's life 
For fair Zenocrate that so laments his state. 

Tamh. That will we chiefly see unto, Theridamas, 
For sweet Zenocrate, whose worthiness 
Deserves a conquest over every heart. 

130. Prefix Attend.l Dyce. An. Oi_^. 132. S.D. and] with O3 O4. 
137. us] with us O2. 141. reverend] reverent O3 O4. 

from the very height of heaven, this can make the already con- 
to feel the humble joys of human siderable confusion anything but 
emotions and move in spheres no worse confounded, 
higher than weed-strown cottages,' 138. no way but one with us] 
A further suggestion was made This is surely a common phrase, 
by Mitford and quoted by Dyce ^, Dyce cites an instance as late as 
namely that 11. 1 2 1-4, for whatever Dryden and Mistress Quickly's 
they are worth, should be bodily words on the death of FalstafE 
moved to a position between {Henry V, 11. iii. 16) come in- 
1. 116 and 1. 117. I fail to see how stantly to mind. 

166 THE FIRST PART OF [actv 

And now, my footstool, if I lose the field, 
You hope of liberty and restitution. 
Here let him stay, my masters, from the tents. 
Till we have made us ready for the field. 
Pray for us, Bajazeth ; we are going. 150 


Baj, Go, never to return with victory ! 

Millions of men encompass thee about, 

And gore thy body with as many wounds ! 

Sharp, forked arrows light upon thy horse ! 

Furies from the black Cocytus' lake. 

Break up the earth, and with their firebrands 

Enforce thee run upon the baneful pikes ! 

Vollies of shot pierce through thy charmed skin. 

And every bullet dipt in poisoned drugs ! 

Or roaring cannons sever all thy joints, 160 

Making thee mount as high as eagles soar ! 

Zah. Let all the swords and lances in the field 
Stick in his breast as in their proper rooms ! 
At every pore let blood come dropping forth. 
That lingering pains may massacre his heart. 
And madness send his damned soul to hell ! 

Baj. Ah, fair Zabina, we may curse his power. 

The heavens may frown, the earth for anger quake ; 

But such a star hath influence in his sword 

As rules the skies and countermands the gods 170 

More than Cimmerian Styx or Destiny : 

And then shall we in this detested guise, 

158. Vollies] Valleyes O4. 164. pore] dove O4. 171. than] then O3 O4. 

155. Furies . . . lake] The line 171. Styx] The chief river of the 
lacks the initial unaccented syllable. underworld, the daughter of 
Cocytus is generally described as a Oceanus, was the divinity by whom 
river, not a lake, of the under- the most solemn oaths were sworn, 
world. Like the Acheron, of which Marlowe's allusion may be a 
it was actually a tributary, its reminiscence of Virgil's line : ' Di 
association with the underworld cuius jurare timent et fallere un- 
caused it to be transferred there by men.' 
popular mythology. 


With shame, with hunger and with horror ay 

Griping our bowels with retorqued thoughts, 

And have no hope to end our ecstasies. jh 

Zah. Then is there left no Mahomet, no God, , 'I 

No fiend, no fortune, nor no hope of end "Ijl 

To our infamous, monstrous slaveries. 1 1|! 

Gape, earth, and let the fiends infernal view ^ p 

A hell as hopeless and as full of fear i8o ' \ 

As are the blasted banks of Erebus, it 

Where shaking ghosts with ever howling groans '> i 

Hover about the ugly ferryman, ; | 

To get a passage to Elysian. ^ I 
Why should we live ? O wretches, beggars, slaves ! 

Why live we, Bajazeth, and build up nests \ 

So high within the region of the air, ^^ 
By living long in this oppression, 

That all the world will see and laugh to scorn v\ 

The former triumphs of our mightiness 190 ,,| 

In this obscure infernal servitude ? j 

Baj. O life, more loathsome to my vexed thoughts f ' 

Than noisome parbreak of the Stygian snakes, jf 
Which fills the nooks of hell with standing air, 

173- ^y] (^y^ O4 ^^"^ Oi O2. 180. A'\ Rob. etc. As Oi_4. 192. thoughts] 
thought O3 O4. 193. Than] Then O3 O4. 

173- <^y] The reading aye (aie) 178. infamous] Marlowe per- 

of the octavos presupposes a verb sistently stresses thus. Cf. below 

such as ' remain ', ' live ', un- 11. 329, 342. 

expressed. This seems preferable 184. Elysian] the reading of the 

to the emendations ' live ' and octavo is retained here. 

' stay ' suggested by Robinson and 193-5- Than noisome . . . cureless 

by Dyce and adopted by many griefs] The graphic quality of these 

later editors. lines suggests that they are a 

174. re/or^-Me^] An unusual word, deliberate reproduction, but from 
obviously closely connected with what source I do not know. The 
the French ' retorquer '. Here it Stygian snakes call to mind Spen- 
may be taken to mean ' driven ser's description of Error {F.Q., 
back upon themselves ', ' twisted i. i.) and have, so far as I can dis- 
inward ' and exactly expresses cover, no parallel in classical myth- 
Bajazet's misery. The N.E.D. cites ology, although the Furies are 
only this passage. commonly described with serpents 

175. ecstasies] as often, any twined about them or in their hair, 
superlative emotions ; not neces- (See Ovid, Metam., iv. 490 and 
sarily joyful. Seneca, De Ira, iii. 35. 5.) 

168 THE FIRST PART OF [actv 

Infecting all the ghosts with cureless griefs ! 

O dreary engines of my loathed sight, 

That sees my crown, my honour and my name 

Thrust under yoke and thraldom of a thief, 

Why feed ye still on day's accursed beams. 

And sink not quite into my tortur'd soul ? 200 

You see my wife, my queen, and emperess. 

Brought up and propped by the hand of Fame, 

Queen of fifteen contributory queens. 

Now thrown to rooms of black abjection, 

Smear'd with blots of basest drudgery. 

And villeiness to shame, disdain, and misery. 

Accursed Bajazeth, whose words of ruth. 

That would with pity cheer Zabina's heart. 

And make our souls resolve in ceaseless tears. 

Sharp hunger bites upon and gripes the root 210 

From whence the issues of my thoughts do break. 

poor Zabina ! O my queen, my queen ! 
Fetch me some water for my burning breast. 
To cool and comfort me with longer date. 
That, in the shortened sequel of my life, 

1 may pour forth my soul into thine arms 
With words of love, whose moaning intercourse 
Hath hitherto been stayed with wrath and hate 
Of our expressless banned inflictions. 

Zah. Sweet Bajazeth, I will prolong thy life 220 

199. ye]you O4. 204. abjection] objection O^ O4. 207. ruth] truth O4. 

196, engines] as often, instru- N.E.D. quotes this passage under 

ments, means. ' villainess ' without distinguishing 

204. abjection] here used in the it from the later and modern 
still surviving sense of abasement, usage of that word. It should 
degradation. These lines represent rather, I think, appear as ' villein- 
Marlowe's general reproduction of ess '. (See Cotgrave : A villein- 
the detailed account of Peron- esse, a woman of a servile condi- 
dinus. (See Appendix D.) tion.) 

206. villeiness] The reading of 219. expressless] passive, as often 

Oi_4 stands, I think, for villei- in Elizabethan English : inex- 

ness, the feminine of villein, in pressible. banned] repressed, bound 

the sense of servant, still cur- down, 
rent in Elizabethan English. The 


As long as any blood or spark of breath 
Can quench or cool the torments of my grief. 

[She goes out. 
Baj. Now, Bajazeth, abridge thy baneful days, 

And beat thy brains out of thy conquer'd head, 

Since other means are all forbidden me. 

That may be ministers of my decay. 

O highest lamp of ever-living Jove, 

Accursed day, infected with my griefs, 

Hide now thy stained face in endless night, 

And shut the windows of the lightsome heavens. 230 

Let ugly darkness with her rusty coach. 

Engirt with tempests wrapt in pitchy clouds. 

Smother the earth with never-fading mists. 

And let her horses from their nostrils breathe 

Rebellious winds and dreadful thunder claps, 

That in this terror Tamburlaine may live, 

And my pin'd soul, resolv'd in liquid air. 

May still excruciate his tormented thoughts. 

Then let the stony dart of senseless cold 

Pierce through the centre of my withered heart, 240 

And make a passage for my loathed life. 

[He brains himself against the cage. 

224. thy] the O3 O4. 227. ever-living] everlasting O ^. 237. air]ayOi02- 

231. ugly Darkness . . . coach] 'bits' (i. v, 20) ; ' charet fild with 

The coach or chariot of night rusty blood ' (i. v. 32). 

(to which Marlowe again refers in 2^7-8. my pin'd soul . . . thoughts] 

Hero and Leander, 11. 332-4) is Bajazet here conceives of the 

a commonplace and is described Spirit as a subtle essence allied to 

by Euripides, Theocritus, Tibullus the air and dwelling in it, a theory 

and Virgil {Aen., v. 721), the last which seems to carry us back rather 

of which writers was certainly to the doctrines of Anaximenes of 

read by Marlowe. But the attri- Miletus and Diogenes of Apollonia 

butes of ugliness (' rusty ' in this (sixth and fifth centuries b.c.) than 

passage, ' loathsome ' in H. and L.) to Aristotle or to the common 

seem to be Marlowe's own addition. Christian view. I cannot trace 

I can find no parallel in the classical the means by which this idea 

references, though they frequently reached Marlowe, 

call the coach black. A little later, 241. He brains himself] The sui- 

however, in the Faery Queene, cide of Bajazet is described only 

Spenser has several similar refer- by Perondinus and Primaudaye, 

ences : ' yron charet ' and ' rusty who obviously follows him. 

170 THE FIRST PART OF [act v 

Enter Zabina. 

Zah. What do mine eyes behold ? my husband dead ! 
His skull all riven in twain ! his brains dash'd out, 
The brains of Bajazeth, my lord and sovereign ! 
O Bajazeth, my husband and my lord ! 
O Bajazeth ! O Turk ! O emperor ! 246 

Give him his liquor ? not I. Bring milk and fire, and 
my blood I bring him again. Tear me in pieces, give me 
the sword with a ball of wild-fire upon it. Down with 
him, down with him. Go to my child ; away, away, 
away ! ah, save that infant ! save him, save him ! I, even 
I, speak to her. The sun was down, streamers white, 
red, black. Here, here, here ! Fling the meat in his 
face Tamburlaine, Tamburlaine ! Let the soldiers be 
buried. Hell, death, Tamburlaine, hell ! Make ready my 
coach, my chair, my jewels. I come, I come, I come 1 
[She runs against the cage, and brains herself. 

Zenocrate with Anippe. 

Zeno. Wretched Zenocrate, that livest to see 
Damascus' walls dy'd with Egyptian blood, 
Thy father's subjects and thy countrymen ; 
Thy streets strowed with dissevered joints of men, 260 
And wounded bodies gasping yet for life ; 
But most accursed, to see the sun-bright troop 

248. give] and give O^- 254-5. Let . . . Tamburlaine] om. O3O4. 256. 
/ come, I come, I come] I come I come O3 O4. S.D. Zenocrate with Anippe] 
Enter Zenocrate . . . etc. O4. 257. Prefix Zeno.] om. Oj.g. 

247-56. Give him ... 7 come, I uses prose mixed with snatches of 
come] This seems to be one of the verse for Opheha's words and prose 
few passages in which the prose for Lady Macbeth's. Each of 
form is intentional and not the Zabina's exclamations can, like 
result of corruption of the text. Lady Macbeth's, be traced to some 
Though blank verse lines may be episode of the immediate past, 
found embedded in it, the passage though not always to one which 
is best printed as prose. I think has been chronicled in the play. 
Marlowe meant to express these 255. Make ready my coach] Here, 
broken thoughts in a medium which at least, is a phrase which Shake- 
combined broken rhythms with speare was destined to remember 
prose, just as Shakespeare, later, and use again. 


Of heavenly virgins and unspotted maids, 

Whose looks might make the angry god of arms 

To break his sword and mildly treat of love, 

On horsemen's lances to be hoisted up, 

And guiltlessly endure a cruel death. 

For every fell and stout Tartarian steed, 

That stamped on others with their thundring hoofs, 

When all their riders charg'd their quivering spears, 270 

Began to check the ground and rein themselves. 

Gazing upon the beauty of their looks. 

Ah, Tamburlaine, wert thou the cause of this. 

That term'st Zenocrate thy dearest love ? 

Whose lives were dearer to Zenocrate 

Than her own life, or aught save thine own love. 

But see another bloody spectacle. 

Ah, wretched eyes, the enemies of my heart, 

How are ye glutted with these grievous objects. 

And tell my soul more tales of bleeding ruth ! 280 

See, see, Anippe, if they breathe or no. 

Anip, No breath, nor sense, nor motion, in them both. 
Ah, madam, this their slavery hath enforc'd. 
And ruthless cruelty of Tamburlaine. 

Zeno. Earth, cast up fountains from thy entrails. 
And wet thy cheeks for their untimely deaths ; 
Shake with their weight in sign of fear and grief. 
Blush heaven, that gave them honour at their birth, 

269. hoofs] hooves OjOg. 2^6. ThanjThen O3O4. 285. thy] thine O3O4. 

271. check the ground] used again. in misery] In this speech alone is 

of horses stamping on the ground in reproduced the gist of the reflexions 

Hero and Leander, 11. 143-4. with which Mexia accompanies 

279. glutted] is an unfortunate the narrative of Bajazet. ' Sic 

favourite with Marlowe, most un- transit gloria mundi ' is no part of 

suitably used, perhaps, in Faustus, Marlowe's main theme in Tamhur- 

but ill-placed here also. Miss laine, but it is skilfully suggested 

Seaton points out that it also in the intervals, through Zeno- 

occurs in Belleforest's Cosmographie crate's reflexions, and serves to 

universelle. (See R.E.S., Oct., emphasize the high colour and 

1929, p. 397.) strong movement of the main 

285. entrails] here trisyllabic. action. The strophic movement of 

288 seq. Blush heaven . . . so long this speech, with its refrain, may 

172 THE FIRST PART OF [actv 

And let them die a death so barbarous. 
Those that are proud of fickle empery 290 

And place their chiefest good in earthly pomp, 
Behold the Turk and his great emperess ! 
Ah, Tamburlaine, my love, sweet Tamburlaine, 
That fightst for sceptres and for slippery crowns. 
Behold the Turk and his great emperess ! 
Thou that, in conduct of thy happy stars, 
Sleep'st every night with conquest on thy brows, 
And yet wouldst shun the wavering turns of war. 
In fear and feeling of the like distress, 
Behold the Turk and his great emperess ! 300 

Ah, mighty Jove and holy Mahomet, 
Pardon my love ! O, pardon his contempt 
Of earthly fortune and respect of pity ; 
And let not conquest, ruthlessly pursued. 
Be equally against his life incensed 
In this great Turk and hapless emperess ! 
And pardon me that was not mov'd with ruth 
To see them live so long in misery. 
Ah, what may chance to thee, Zenocrate ? 
Anip. Madam, content yourself, and be resolv'd, 310 

Your love hath Fortune so at his command, 
That she shall stay and turn her wheel no more, 
As long as life maintains his mighty arm 
That fights for honour to adorn your head. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Zeno. What other heavy news now brings Philemus ? 

Phil. Madam, your father and th' Arabian king, 
The first affect er of your excellence, 
Comes now as Turnus 'gainst ^neas did, 

294- fightst] fights Oi Og. 298. war] warres O3 O4. 

be compared with Part II, 11. iv. 318. as Turnus . . .] The wars of 

i~33 > V. hi. 1-41 and 145-158. Turnus and Aeneas, occasioned by 

290. empery] empire or imperial Aeneas's marriage with Lavinia, 

power, formerly betrothed to Turnus, are 


Armed with lance into the ^Egyptian fields, 
Ready for battle 'gainst my lord the king. 320 

Zeno. Now shame and duty, love and fear presents 

A thousand sorrows to my martyred soul. , \ 

Whom should I wish the fatal victory, , 

When my poor pleasures are divided thus, ' \ 

And racked by duty from my cursed heart ? • \ 

My father and my first betrothed love ^ \ 

Must fight against my life and present love ; 

Wherein the change I use condemns my faith, \ \ 

And makes my deeds infamous through the world. ' ' 

But as the gods, to end the Trojan's toil, 330 \ 1 

Prevented Turnus of Lavinia, 1 

And fatally enriched iEneas' love. 

So, for a final issue to my griefs, ' 

To pacify my country and my love, \'\ 

\ Must Tamburlaine by their resistless powers, 

"^ With virtue of a gentle victory, \'\ 

% Conclude a league of honour to my hope ; ,, j 

^^; Then, as the powers divine have pre-ordained, 

\)^ With happy safety of my father's life i'' 

Y< r.r! Send like defence of fair Arabia. 340 f I 

\They sound to the battle. And Tamburlaine enjoys 
the victory ; after, Arabia enters wounded. 

Arab. What cursed power guides the murdering hands 
Of this infamous tyrant's soldiers. 
That no escape may save their enemies, 
Nor fortune keep themselves from victory ? 
Lie down, Arabia, wounded to the death. 
And let Zenocrate's fair eyes behold. 
That, as for her thou bearst these wretched arms, 

333. final] small Og. 

described in the seventh book of Virgil, though not, I think, at this 
the Aeneid. Marlowe shows from date so close a knowledge as of Ovid. 
time to time a knowledge of Compare 11. 330-2 below. 

174 THE FIRST PART OF [actv 

Even so for her thou diest in these arms, 
Leaving thy blood for witness of thy love. 

Zeno. Too dear a witness for such love, my lord. 350 
Behold Zenocrate, the cursed object 
Whose fortunes never mastered her griefs ; 
Behold her wounded in conceit for thee, 
As much as thy fair body is for me ! 

Arab. Then shall I die with full contented heart, 
Having beheld divine Zenocrate, 
Whose sight with joy would take away my life, 
As now it bringeth sweetness to my wound. 
If I had not been wounded as I am — 
Ah, that the deadly pangs I suffer now 360 

Would lend an hour's licence to my tongue. 
To make discourse of some sweet accidents 
Have chanc'd thy merits in this worthless bondage, 
And that I might be privy to the state 
Of thy deserv'd contentment and thy love ! 
But making now a virtue of thy sight. 
To drive all sorrow from my fainting soul, 
Since death denies me further cause of joy, 
Depriv'd of care, my heart with comfort dies. 
Since thy desired hand shall close mine eyes. 370 

Enter Tamburlaine leading the Soldan, Techelles, 
Theridamas, Usumcasane, with others. 

Tamb. Come, happy father of Zenocrate, 
A title higher than thy Soldan's name. 
Though my right hand have thus enthralled thee. 
Thy princely daughter here shall set thee free. 
She that hath calmed the fury of my sword. 
Which had ere this been bathed in streams of blood 

349. thy blood] my bloodO^- 358. bringeth] bringth O3. 373. have] hath 

353. conceit] here equivalent to pare ' That in conceit bear empires- 
the modern ' imagination '. Com- on our spears ' (i. ii. 64). 


As vast and deep as Euphrates or Nile. 

Zeno. O sight thrice welcome to my joyful soul, 
To see the king my father issue safe 
From dangerous battle of my conquering love ! 380 

Sold. Well met, my only dear Zenocrate, 

Though with the loss of Egypt and my crown. 

Tamh. 'Twas I, my lord, that gat the victory. 
And therefore grieve not at your overthrow, 
Since I shall render all into your hands. 
And add more strength to your dominions 
Then ever yet confirmed th' Egyptian crown. 
The god of war resigns his room to me. 
Meaning to make me general of the world ; ^ 
Jove, viewing me in arms, looks pale and wan, 390 
Fearing my power should pull him from his throne ; 
Where'er I come the fatal sisters sweat. 
And grisly death, by running to and fro 
To do their ceaseless homage to my sword ; 
And here in Afric, where it seldom rains, 
Since I arriv'd with my triumphant host. 
Have swelling clouds, drawn from wide gasping wounds. 
Been oft resolv'd in bloody purple showers, 
A meteor that might terrify the earth. 
And make it quake at every drop it drinks ; 400 
Millions of souls sit on the banks of Styx, 
Waiting the back return of Charon's boat ; 
Hell and Elysium swarm with ghosts of men 
That I have sent from sundry foughten fields 
To spread my fame through hell and up to heaven ; 
And see, my lord, a sight of strange import, 

391. should] shall O3 O4. 392. sweat] sweare O3 O4. 

377. Euphrates] With this ac- and almost unconscious blending 

centing of the name, Wagner com- of pagan and Christian phraseology 

pares Ant. and Cleop., i. ii. 106 : in the phrases about Styx, Charon 

* Extended Asia from Euphrates.' and Elysium, followed by the 

401-5. Millions of souls . . . up ' up to heaven ' of 1. 405. 
io heaven] Again here is the familiar 

176 THE FIRST PART OF [actv 

Emperors and kings lie breathless at my feet ; 
The Turk and his great empress, as it seems, 
Left to themselves while we were at the fight, 
Have desperately despatched their slavish lives ; 410 
With them Arabia too hath left his life : 
All sights of power to grace my victory. 
And such are objects fit for Tamburlaine, 
Wherein, as in a mirror, may be seen 
His honour, that consists in shedding blood 
When men presume to manage arms with him. 

Sold. Mighty hath God and Mahomet made thy hand, 
Renowmed Tamburlaine, to whom all kings 
Of force must yield their crowns and emperies ; "^^^^ 
And I am pleased with this my overthrow, 420 

If, as beseems a person of thy state, 
Thou hast with honour used Zenocrate. 

Tamh. Her state and person wants no pomp, you see ; 
And for all blot of foul inchastity, 
I record heaven, her heavenly self is clear : , 

Then let me find no further time to grace ^ 

Her princely temples with the Persian crown ; ^* 

But here these kings that on my fortunes wait. 
And have been crown'd for proved worthiness 
Even by this hand that shall establish them, 430 
Shall now, adjoining all their hands with mine. 
Invest her here my Queen of Persia. 
What saith the noble Soldan and Zenocrate ? 

Sold. I yield with thanks and protestations 
Of endless honour to thee for her love. 

Tamh. Then doubt I not but fair Zenocrate 
Will soon consent to satisfy us both. 

Zeno. Else should I much forget myself, my lord. 

Ther. Then let us set the crown upon her head. 

That long hath lingered for so high a seat. 440 

Tech. My hand is ready to perform the deed, 

432. my] the O^. 436. I not] not I O3 O4. 438, Else] Then Og. 


For now her marriage time shall work us rest. 

Usum. And here's the crown, my lord ; help set it on. 

Tamh. Then sit thou down, divine Zenocrate ; 
And here we crown thee Queen of Persia, 
And all the kingdoms and dominions 
That late the power of Tamburlaine subdued. 
As Juno, when the giants were suppressed 
That darted mountains at her brother Jove, 
So looks my love, shadowing in her brows 450 

Triumphs and trophies for my victories ; 
Or as Latona's daughter, bent to arms. 
Adding more courage to my conquering mind. 
To gratify thee, sweet Zenocrate, 
Egyptians, Moors, and men of Asia, 
From Barbary unto the Western Indie, 
Shall pay a yearly tribute to thy sire ; 
And from the bounds of Afric to the banks 
Of Ganges shall his mighty arm extend. 
And now, my lords and loving followers, 460 

That purchas'd kingdoms by your martial deeds. 
Cast off your armour, put on scarlet robes. 
Mount up your royal places of estate. 
Environed with troops of noble men. 
And there make laws to rule your provinces : 
Hang up your weapons on Alcides' post ; 

443. on] om. O2. 461. your] you O3. martial] matiall O^. 

448. As Juno . . .] This appears 466. Alcides' post] The emenda- 

to be Marlowe's own image. Hera tion ' posts ' substituted (perhaps 

is not specifically mentioned in by confusion with the Pillars of 

classical accounts of the battles Hercules ?) by Dyce and others 

between Zeus and the Titans. for the reading of the octavos is 

452. Latona's daughter] The arms invalidated by Horace's lines : 

of Artemis (daughter of Leto) are . 

not, strictly, those of war, but of , ,, ,. Veianms, armis 

the chase Herculis ad postem fixis, latet 

456. From Barbary . . . Indie] abditus agro.' 

That is, from the northern coast of \^P-' ^- ^- 4""5-) _ 

Africa in the west to the Ganges ' Post ' is an obvious Latinism, 

in the east, the extent, eastward and ' postis ' being the door-post of the 

westward, of Tamburlaine's empire, temple. 


For Tamburlaine takes truce with all the world. 
Thy first betrothed love, Arabia, 
Shall we with honour, as beseems, entomb, 
A With this great Turk and his fair emperess. 470 

11 Then, after all these solemn exequies, 

II We will our rites of marriage solemnise. 

[1 Finis Actus quinti and ultimi huius primae partis. 


^' 469. as] as best Og- 472. rites'] conj. Mit. celebrated rites O1-4. 

472. rites] The reading follows octavos agree in the reading ' cele- 
the conjecture of Mitford. The brated rites '. 
















Tamburlaine, King of Persia. 

Calyphas, ^ 

Amyras, [his sons. 

Celebinus, i 

Theridamas, King of Argier. 

Techelles, King of Fez. 

UsuMCASANE, King of Morocco. 

Orcanes, King of Natolia. 

King of Trebizon. 

King of Soria. 

King of Jerusalem. 

King of Amasia. 

Gazellus, Viceroy of Byron. 


Sigismund, King of Hungary. 

-p ry^TTsj ' \lords of Buda and Bohemia. 

Callapine, son to Bajazeth, and prisoner to Tamburlaine. 

Almeda, his keeper. 

Governor of Babylon. 

Captain of Balsera. 

His Son. 

Another Captain. 

Maximus, Perdicas, Physicians, Lords, Citizens, Messengers, 

Soldiers, and Attendants. 
Zenocrate, wife to Tamburlaine. 
Olympia, wife to the Captain of Balsera. 
Turkish Concubines. 


Dramatis PersoncB. 
The list of these was first added 
by Dyce. It does not appear in 
the octavos. The characters added 
to those of the first part are num- 
erous, only Tamburlaine, Zeno- 
crate and the three original fol- 
lowers remaining. Of the twenty 
additional characters, very few 
are mentioned and still fewer 
named by Marlowe's authorities. 
Calyphas. This name seems to be 
Marlowe's own adaptation of the 
common title Caliph or Calipha, 
which he could have found in 
Bizarus and many of the authors 
he consulted. ' It is odd ', says 
Miss Seaton,^ in speaking of the 
names of the sons of Tambur- 
laine, ' that he adopted such 
Turkish titles as those now 
familiar to us in Caliph, Emir 
and Ameer to form names for 
princes supposedly Scytho-Egyp- 
tian by birth, Persian by rule. 
He may have taken a hint from 
Lonicerus : Vocatur idem gen- 
erali nomine Amiras et Caliphas, 
quod successorem significat : 
summumque Principem, penes 
quem imperii et religionis po- 
testas esset, quales fuere Baby- 
lonis, ubi regni postmodum fuit 
sedes, hoc nomine intellexerunt 
{op. cit., 1578, I, f. 3 ; 1584, I, 
5).' The three sons of Timur 
are named by Chalcondylas 
Sachruchus, Paiangures and Ab- 
dulatriphes ; Sacruch appears 
also in other accounts. 
Amyras. See above note. 
Celebinus. This is the title of 
the heir of Bajazet, a name 
recorded in many histories of 
the Turkish empire. Lonicerus, 
as Miss Seaton points out, 
explains it ' as a title in connec- 
tion with this heir of Bajazet, 
Calepine, as both he and Marlowe 
style him.' Marlowe has, then, 
simply transferred the title and 
made it the name of one of 
Tamburlaine's sons. 
Orcanes. This is the name of an 
earlier Turkish emperor (1328- 

1350) which Marlowe has trans- 
ferred to the king of Natolia 
(approximately Turkey) con- 
temporary with the last years 
of Tamburlaine. Orcanes was 
the son of Ottomanes, the foun- 
der of the dynasty, and was the 
grandfather of Bajazeth. 

King of Trebizon, of Soria, of 
Jerusalem, of Amasia. The 
names of these kings, like those 
of the African kings in the first 
part of the play, were probably 
suggested to Marlowe by a study 
of the maps of Eastern Europe 
and Western Asia. 

Gazellus. This name is men- 
tioned by Bizarus and others, 
but it belongs, like that of 
Techelles in the first play, to a 
later period of history. Marlowe 
has perhaps, again, transported 
it from the pages of his authority 
to serve a different purpose in 
his own writing. 

SiGiSMUND. For the historical 
Sigismund and his relation to 
Marlowe's story, see the Intro- 
duction (sources of Part II) and 
the notes on II, i and 11 passim. 
The names of Frederick and 
Baldwin could have been derived 
from the same sources that 
supplied Marlowe with that of 

Callapine. The son and suc- 
cessor of Bajazet is necessarily 
mentioned in all the histories 
of the Turkish Empire. As 
Calepinus Cyriscelebes (or a 
variant of this name) he appears 
in the accounts of Sagundinus, 
Granucci, Mexia, Newton and 
others. But, as ' Calepinus Cy- 
ricelibes, otherwise Cybelius ', as 
Miss Seaton points out,^ he 
appears only in Lonicerus, who 
' alone gives the full title, head- 
ing thus the chapter on this 
individual, whom he calls the 
fifth emperor of the Turks : 
Calepinus Cyricelibes Qui et 
Cibelinus, quintus Turcorum Im- 

' Fresh Sources for Marlowe, p. 388. 
Oct., 1929.) 


" Fresh Sources for Marlowe, pp. 388-9 
{R.E.S., Oct., 1929.) 


The second part of | The bloody Conquests [ of mighty Tamburlaine. | 
With his impassionate fury, for the death of | his Lady and love, faire 
Zenocrate : his fourme | of exhortation and discipline to his three j sons, 
and the maner of his own death. 


The general welcomes Tamburlaine receiv'd, 

When he arrived last upon our stage, 

Hath made our poet pen his second part, 

Where death cuts off the progress of his pomp, 

And murderous Fates throws all his triumphs down. 

But what became of fair Zenocrate, 

And with how many cities' sacrifice 

He celebrated her sad funeral. 

Himself in presence shall unfold at large. 

With his impassionate Jury . . . own death] om. O4. 

2. our] the O4. 5. triumphs] tryumph O4. 8. sad] Rob., etc. said O^^^. 

The Prologue. 

1-3. The general welcomes . . . 
second part] The reference in these 
lines to the success of the first part 
of Tamburlaine and the writing of 
the second part have been used as 

the basis of most arguments for 
the dating of the composition. 
(See Introduction, section 2.) 

8. sad] The conjecture adopted 
by Robinson and most subsequent 
editors is here retained instead of 
the reading ' said ' of the octavos. 




Orcanes king of Natolta, Gazellus viceroy of Byron, 
Uribassa, and their train, with drums and trumpets. 

Ore. Egregious viceroys of these eastern parts, 
Plac'd by the issue of great Bajazeth, 
And sacred lord, the mighty Callapine, 
Who lives in Egypt prisoner to that slave 
Which kept his father in an iron cage. 
Now have we marched from fair Natolia 
Two hundred leagues, and on Danubius' banks 
Our warlike host in complete armour rest. 
Where Sigismund, the king of Hungary, 
Should meet our person to conclude a truce. lo 

What ? shall we parle with the Christian, 
Or cross the stream, and meet him in the field ? 

Byr. King of Natolia, let us treat of peace ; 

We are all glutted with the Christians' blood, 

Act I. Scene i. 
Heading. Uribassa] Upihassa 0^_^ {and in Prefix to I. 20). 

Act I. Scene i. episodes introduced here have been 

I. E^ye^foMs] noble, distinguished. described in the Introduction. 

4. Who lives . . . prisoner] Th.e Some of the characters are historical 

capture of the sons of Bajazet is figures belonging to the period of 

only mentioned by the Oriental the battle of Varna (1444). 

and Byzantine historians. Mexia Natolia] see Seaton, Marlowe's 

says that Tamburlaine's sons, after Map, p. 20 : ' Natolia is much more 

his death, lost the empire to the than the modern Anatolia ; it is 

sons of Bajazet. (See Fortescue, the whole promontory of Asia 

Appendix C.) The names of Ba- Minor, with a boundary running 

jazet'ssonsare, however, frequently approximately from the modem 

mentioned. Bay of Iskenderun eastward to- 

6 seq. Now have we ... a truce] wards Aleppo, and then north to 

The source and relations of the Batum on the Black Sea.' 




[act I 

And have a greater foe to fight against, 

Proud Tamburlaine, that now in Asia, 

Near Guyron's head, doth set his conquering feet, 

And means to fire Turkey as he goes : 

'Gainst him, my lord, must you address your power. 

Uri. Besides, King Sigismund hath brought from Chris- 
tendom 20 
More than his camp of stout Hungarians, 
Slavonians, Almains, Rutters, Muffs and Danes, 
That with the halberd, lance and murdering axe, 
Will hazard that we might with surety hold. 

Ore. Though from the shortest northern parallel, 
Vast Gruntland, compassed with the frozen sea. 
Inhabited with tall and sturdy men. 

ig. must youlyoumustO^- 22. Slavonians'] Sclavonians O^^O 2- 
Rutters] Almans Rutters O3. 25. Prefix Ore] Add. Dyce 
26. Gruntland] Grantland O3 O4. 

A Imains, 


16. Proud Tamburlaine . 
Asia] Tamburlaine here slips easily 
into the place of the later Scan- 
derbeg, whose success against the 
Turks at Dybra disposed Amurath 
II to treat for peace. By ' Asia ' 
in this line it seems that Asia 
Minor is meant, the district more 
usually called by Marlowe Na- 
tolia. ' Marlowe only twice uses 
the names of Asia Minor or Asia the 
Less, while Asia and Asia Major 
denote either the whole continent, 
or the part of Asia beyond this 
boundary.' (Seaton, Marlowe's 
Map, p. 20.) 

17. Guyron's head] ' Guyron is 
not an invention of Marlowe's, 
but occurs twice in the Theatrum, 
as Guiron in the Turcicum Im- 
perium ; it is a town near the 
Upper Euphrates, north-east of 
Aleppo, in the latter map not far 
from the confines of Natolia, and 
therefore a possible outpost.' (Sea- 
ton, Marlowe's Map, pp. 22-3.) 

22. Almains, Rutters] Collier 
would have conjectured ' Almain 
Rutters ' (i.e. German horsemen) ; 
it seems preferable, however, to 
allow the text to stand, in spite of 

the evidence of Faustus, I. : ' Like 
Almain Rutters, with their horse- 
men's staves.' Muffs] Collier 
would also suggest ' Russ ', not an 
altogether satisfactory substitute. 

25-6. from the shortest . . . frozen 
sea'] The shortest northern parallel 
is the smallest circle of latitude 
described on the globe towards the 
north, hence the line within which 
fall the most northerly regions. 
There is no need to emend ' Grunt- 
land ' to ' Greenland ' (the modern 
form), still less to read ' Grant- 
land ' with O3 O4, as Robinson and 
some subsequent editors do. In 
Ortelius, Septentrionalium Regionum 
Descriptio (1570), Groenlandt (Green- 
land) appears to the N. of Iceland, 
not directly touched by the Mare 
Congelatum, but bounded by the 
Oceanus Hyperboreus. Ortelius's 
name is the normal Dutch form of 
the period and Marlowe or his 
printer has accidentally added an 
infixed ' t ' while also anglicizing 
the oe to u. 

27-8. tall and sturdy men. Giants] 
There is no authority for Marlowe's 
giants, nor are the inhabitants of 
polar regions generally large. Per- 

SC. l] 



Giants as big as hugy Polypheme, 

Millions of soldiers cut the arctic line, 

Bringing the strength of Europe to these arms, 30 

Our Turkey blades shall glide through all their throats, 

And make this champion mead a bloody fen ; 

Danubius' stream, that runs to Trebizon, 

Shall carry, wrapt within his scarlet waves. 

As martial presents to our friends at home, 

The slaughtered bodies of these Christians ; 

The Terrene main, wherein Danubius falls. 

Shall by this battle be the bloody sea ; 

The wandering sailors of proud Italy 

29. cut the] out the O3 out 0/O4. 

haps he was prompted by the con- 
trasting (and much more probable) 
statement, on the almost unmapped 
territory of ' Sententrio ' in the map 
referred to above, ' Pigmei hie 
habitant '. Polypheme'] the legend 
of Polyphemus, originally derived 
from the Odessey, Marlowe could 
again find in Ovid. {Metam., xiii. 
772 ff., XIV. 167 if.). 

29. cut the arctic line] : Cross 
the arctic circle southward. 

32. champion] See Part I, 11. ii. 40. 

33-41. Danubius' stream . . . 
against their argosies] The notorious 
difficulty contained in this passage 
has, after years of indulgent or 
contemptuous comment on the part 
of Marlowe's editors, been ex- 
plained by Miss Seaton, who quotes 
Shakespeare's similar reference to 
the ' compulsive course ' of the 
Pontick Sea {Othello, iii. iii), and 
' an even clearer description of the 
violent flow of the Bosporus from 
north to south ' given by Petrus 
Gyllius. ' This last ', she con- 
tinues, ' is precisely Marlowe's 
idea. He sees the waters of the 
Danube sweeping from the river 
mouths in two strong currents, 
the one racing across the Black 
Sea to Trebizond, the other swirl- 
ing southward to the Bosporus, 
and so onward to the Hellespont 

and the Aegean. Both currents 
bear the slaughtered bodies of 
Christian soldiers, the one to bring 
proof of victory to the great Turk- 
ish town, the other to strike terror 
to the Italian merchants cruising 
round the Isles of Greece. Nicholas 
Nicholay, one of Marlowe's recog- 
nized authorities, definitely con- 
nects the " compulsive course " 
with the flow of rivers : " But for 
so much as many great rivers . . . 
from Europe doe fall into the Blacke 
and Euxine Sea, it commeth to 
pass that beyng full, she gusheth 
out through the mouth of her wyth 
great vyolence intoo the Sea 
Pontique (i.e. Propontic) and from 
thence through the streit of Helles- 
ponthus . . . into the Sea of 
Egee." Perondinus, another source, 
in speaking of Bajazeth's defeat 
by Tamburlaine, uses an expres- 
sion that may have given the idea 
to Marlowe : Euf rates . . . maiore 
sanguinis at aquarum vi ad mare 
Rubrum volveretur ; here, like Mar- 
lowe, he considers the main sea 
into which the inland sea opens 
to be the outlet of the river, for 
Mare Rubrum can include the 
modern Arabian Sea, as it does 
in the Turcicum Imperium of Or- 
telius.' (Seaton, Marlowe's Map, 
PP- 32-3-) 


Shall meet those Christians fleeting with the tide, 40 
Beating in heaps against their argosies, 
And make fair Europe, mounted on her bull. 
Trapped with the wealth and riches of the world, 
Alight and wear a woful mourning weed. 

Byr. Yet, stout Orcanes, Prorex of the world, 

Since Tamburlaine hath mustered all his men. 

Marching from Cairon northward with his camp 

To Alexandria and the frontier towns. 

Meaning to make a conquest of our land, 

'Tis requisite to parle for a peace 50 

With Sigismund; the king of Hungary, 

And save our forces for the hot assaults 

Proud Tamburlaine intends Natolia. 

Ore. Viceroy of Byron, wisely hast thou said. 
My realm, the centre of our empery. 
Once lost, all Turkey would be overthrown ; 
And for that cause the Christians shall have peace. 
Slavonians, Almains, Rutters, Muffs and Danes 
Fear not Orcanes, but great Tamburlaine ; 
Nor he, but Fortune that hath made him great. 60 
We have revolted Grecians, Albanese, 

58. Almains] Almans O3 O4. 

41. argosies] The large merchant 59. Fear] frighten. 

vessels of the late sixteenth cen- 61-3. Grecians . . . Sorians] Al- 

tury, especially those of Ragusa banians of this period belonged to 

and Venice. The name ' argosy ', the district between the Caucasus 

whose eariiest form is frequently and the west coast of the Caspian 

' ragusye ', is now generally con- Sea ; for ' Cicilians ' Brooke queries 

sidered to have been formed from ' Cilicians ' ; ' Sorians ' appears in 

that of the port. O2 as ' Syrians ', while Dyce ex- 

42. Europe mounted on her hull] plains it as dwellers in ' Tyre, 
For the legend of Europa and the anciently called Zur or Zor '. Miss 
bull Marlowe may again be in- Seaton remarks that ' Soria ' ' re- 
debted to Ovid, Metam., 11. 836 ff. places in Part II the form Siria of 
and VI. 104. Part I. Egyptia in Part I includes 

45. Prorex] Cf. Part I, i. i. 89, Siria, for Damascus is Egyptian ; 

Marlowe reduces this rather curious in Part II, Egypt is distinct from 

word ad absurdum in the present Soria, and its capital is Cairo, 

phrase. named for the first time ' (p. 

58. Almains . . . Muffs] See 1. 22, 21). 
above, and note. 

SC. l] 



Cicilians, Jews, Arabians, Turks and Moors, 

Natolians, Sorians, black Egyptians, 

Illyrians, Thracians and Bithynians, 

Enough to swallow forceless Sigismund, 

Yet scarce enough t' encounter Tamburlaine. 

He brings a world of people to the field. 

From Scythia to the oriental plage 

Of India, where raging Lantchidol 

Beats on the regions with his boisterous blows. 


63. Sorians] Syrians Og. black] and black O3 O4. 64. Illyrians] 

Illicians O1-2 HHriansO^ O4 [Between I. 63 and I. 64, O3 O4 insert I. 41 of 
Scene II, which, in these editions, is missing from between I. 40 and I. 42. 
In O3 the catchword of Sig. Fj is ' Illici ' but the second line of Sig. Fjy has 
the form ' Illirians '.) 68. plage] Place O3 O4. 

68. oriental plage] The region or 
district (of India). Miss Seaton 
{R.E.S., p. 397) points out that 
' it is strongly reminiscent of the 
cosmographers ' and cites Clausems 
and Bibliander for similar uses. 
Cf. also I, IV. iv. 125 and note. 

69-76. Lantchidol . . . Tambur- 
laine] Again we may turn to Miss 
Seaton's elucidation of geographical 
references in Marlowe's Map : 
' Brough ton's note, " Lantchidol 
was the name of the part of the 
Indian Ocean lying between Java 
and New Holland ", was possibly 
due to the reproduction of the 
Typus Orbis Terrarum in Hakluyt, 
or to the mention of the sea in 
Willes's translation of Pigafetta's 
voyage in his History of Travayle 
(1577, f. 446 verso). Marlowe 
could read of it there or could, 
before Hakluyt, find it in the 
original map, where Lantchidol 
Mare borders a promontory of yet 
unexplored land, in outline sug- 
gesting the north-west of Aus- 
tralia, but here merely designated 
Beach. The name, apparently a 
native one, may have recalled to 
Marlowe's mind, through its Eng- 
lish synonym, the phrase that he 
knew from other sources, ' ' Oriental 
Plage ". But with that map of 
the world before him, and with the 
map of Africa in his head, Marlowe 

did not make the mistake that 
almost every editor has made for 
him by altering the punctuation 
of the Octavo of 1592. He did 
not think that Asia, or even its 
farthest isles, extended " under 
Capricorne " ; yet that is how 
almost every editor punctuates the 
lines. No, the sense-division is at 
" Tamburlaine " ; from Scythia to 
the farthest East Indies, all Asia 
is in arms with Tamburlaine ; from 
the Canaries (the juncture of 
Cancer and the Meridian) south- 
ward to Amazonum Regio and the 
land under Capricorne, and thence 
northward again to the islands of 
the Mediterranean, all Africa is 
in arms with Tamburlaine. The 
second part is a summary of the 
general's campaigns in Africa, to 
be expanded and detailed later. 
The colons at discouered and at 
A rchipellago are attractive examples 
of their use to denote the " actor's 
pause ", the rhetorical upward in- 
tonation and emphasis at the end 
of the line, before the drop to the 
end of the sense-paragraph, such 
as it is still heard at the Com6die 
Frangaise. Here they do not im- 
ply a division of sense ; that comes 
on the name that tolls four strokes 
throughout the speech like a knell of 
doom' (p. 31-2). 


That never seaman yet discovered, 

All Asia is in arms with Tamburlaine ; 

Even from the midst of fiery Cancer's tropic 

To Amazonia under Capricorn, 

And thence, as far as Archipelago, 

All Afric is in arms with Tamburlaine ; 

Therefore, viceroys, the Christians must have peace. 


SiGiSMUND, Frederick, Baldwin, and their train, 
with drums and trumpets. 

Sig. Orcanes, as our legates promised thee. 

We, with our peers, have crossed Danubius' stream. 

To treat of friendly peace or deadly war. 

Take which thou wilt ; for, as the Romans used, 

I here present thee with a naked sword ; 

Wilt thou have war, then shake this blade at me ; 

If peace, restore it to my hands again. 

And I will sheathe it, to confirm the same. 

Ore. Stay, Sigismund ; forgetst thou I am he 

That with the cannon shook Vienna walls, lo 

And made it dance upon the continent. 
As when the massy substance of the earth 
Quiver about the axle-tree of heaven ? 
Forgetst thou that I sent a shower of darts. 
Mingled with powdered shot and feathered steel, 
So thick upon the blink-ey'd burghers' heads, 

77. viceroys] Viceroie Og. 
I. Prefix Sigis.] om. O3. 

Scene ii. 

' Such are the spheares, 

^(^^^^ ii- ' Mutually folded in each others 
13. axle-tree of heaven] The pole orbe, . . . 

upon which not only the earth but ' All jointly move upon one axle- 
the spheres, co-axial with it, were tree, 

supposed to turn. Compare Faus- ' Whose terminine is tearmd the 
tus, 649-54 : worlds wide pole.' 


That thou thyself, then County Palatine, 
The King of Boheme, and the Austric Duke, 
Sent heralds out, which basely on their knees, 
In all your names, desired a truce of me ? 20 

Forgetst thou that, to have me raise my siege. 
Waggons of gold were set before my tent, 
Stampt with the princely fowl that in her wings 
Carries the fearful thunderbolts of Jove ? 
How canst thou think of this, and offer war ? 

Sig. Vienna was besieg'd, and I was there. 
Then County Palatine, but now a king, 
And what we did was in extremity. 
But now, Orcanes, view my royal host. 
That hides these plains, and seems as vast and wide 30 
As doth the desert of Arabia 
To those that stand on Badgeth's lofty tower, 
Or as the ocean to the traveller 
That rests upon the snowy Appenines ; 
And tell me whether I should stoop so low, 
Or treat of peace with the Natolian king. 

Byr, Kings of Natolia and of Hungary, 

We came from Turkey to confirm a league. 

And not to dare each other to the field. 

A friendly parle might become ye both. 40 

Fred. And we from Europe, to the same intent ; 
Which if your general refuse or scorn. 
Our tents are pitched, our men stand in array, 
Ready to charge you ere you stir your feet. 

Nat So prest are we : but yet, if Sigismund 

Speak as a friend, and stand not upon terms, 

^o. ye] you O^- 41.0m. O3O4; insert, after 6^ Scene I. 43. stand] are 

31-2. the desert of Arabia . . . this specific reference may be a 

lofty tower] To Marlowe, looking map such as Ortelius, Persicum 

west in imagination from Bagdad Regium or Turcicum Imperium. 

across the Euphrates, the Arabian 45. prest] ready, 
desert was in sight. The source for 


Here is his sword ; let peace be ratified 

On these conditions specified before, 

Drawn with advice of our ambassadors. 
Sig. Then here I sheathe it and give thee my hand, 50 

Never to draw it out, or manage arms 

Against thyself or thy confederates ; 

But whilst I live will be at truce with thee. 
Nat. But, Sigismund, confirm it with an oath. 

And swear in sight of heaven and by thy Christ. 
Sig. By him that made the world and sav'd my soul. 

The son of God and issue of a maid, 

Sweet Jesus Christ, I solemnly protest 

And vow to keep this peace inviolable. 
Nat. By sacred Mahomet, the friend of God, 60 

Whose holy Alcaron remains with us. 

Whose glorious body, when he left the world. 

Closed in a cofhn mounted up the air. 

And hung on stately Mecca's temple roof, 

I swear to keep this truce inviolable ! 

Of whose conditions and our solemn oaths, 

Sign'd with our hands, each shall retain a scroll. 

As memorable witness of our league. 

Now, Sigismund, if any Christian king 

Encroach upon the confines of thy realm, 70 

Send word, Orcanes of Natolia 

Confirmed this league beyond Danubius' stream. 

And they will, trembling, sound a quick retreat ; 

So am I fear'd among all nations. 
Sig. If any heathen potentate or king 

Invade Natolia, Sigismund will send 

A hundred thousand horse trained to the war. 

And back'd by stout lanceres of Germany, 

51. or] and O3 O4. 78. by] with O3 O4. 

55-9. swear . . . inviolable] With Amurath II and the Christians 
this oath we may compare Bon- {Rerum Ungaricarum, Dec. iii. 
finius's account of the pact between Lib. vi. and see Introduction). 


The strength and sinews of the imperial seat. 
Ore. I thank thee, Sigismund ; but when I war, 80 

All Asia Minor, Africa, and Greece 
Follow my standard and my thundering drums. 
Come, let us go and banquet in our tents : 
I will despatch chief of my army hence 
To fair Natolia and to Trebizon, 
To stay my coming 'gainst proud Tamburlaine : 
Friend Sigismund, and peers of Hungary, 
Come, banquet and carouse with us a while. 
And then depart we to our territories. [Exeunt. 


Callapine with Almeda his keeper. 

Call. Sweet Almeda, pity the ruthful plight 
Of Callapine, the son of Bajazeth, 
Born to be monarch of the western world, 
Yet here detain'd by cruel Tamburlaine. 

Aim. My lord, I pity it, and with my heart 

Wish your release ; but he whose wrath is death. 
My sovereign lord, renowmed Tamburlaine, 
Forbids you further liberty than this. 

Call. Ah, were I now but half so eloquent 

To paint in words what I'll perform in deeds, 10 
I know thou wouldst depart from hence with me ! 

Aim. Not for all Afric ; therefore move me not. 

Call. Yet hear me speak, my gentle Almeda. 

Aim. No speech to that end, by your favour, sir. 

Call. By Cario runs — 

84. / will dispatch . . . hence] ish empire is the ' western world ' 

This was, in effect, precisely what from the Asiatic point of view, 

the historical Amurath II did, 15. Cario] The reading of the 

withdrawing his forces from the octavos, emended by Robinson and 

west to lead them against the King others to ' Cairo ', is here retained, 

of Carmania. though Cairo indeed appears to be 

Scene Hi. 
The western world] The Turk- 



Aim. No talk of running, I tell you, sir. 

Call. A little further, gentle Almeda. 

Aim. Well sir, what of this ? 

Call. By Carlo runs to Alexandria bay 

Darotes' streams, wherein at anchor lies 20 

A Turkish galley of my royal fleet. 

Waiting my coming to the river side, 

Hoping by some means I shall be released ; 

Which, when I come aboard, will hoist up sail, 

And soon put forth into the Terrene sea, 

Where, 'twixt the isles of Cyprus and of Crete, 

We quickly may in Turkish seas arrive. 

Then shalt thou see a hundred kings and more, 

Upon their knees, all bid me welcome home. 

Amongst so many crowns of burnished gold, 30 

Choose which thou wilt, all are at thy command : 

A thousand galleys, mann'd with Christian slaves, 

I freely give thee, which shall cut the Straits, 

And bring armadoes, from the coasts of Spain, 

Fraughted with gold of rich America : 

The Grecian virgins shall attend on thee. 

Skilful in music and in amorous lays, 

As fair as was Pygmalion's ivory girl 

Or lovely lo metamorphosed : 

With naked negroes shall thy coach be drawn, 40 

Scene in. 
28. a] an O3 O4. 34. from] to Og. 

20. D aretes' streams] ' In Africa of Elizabethan piracy, imagines 

and Turcicum Imperium, Darote the ships taken on their return 

or Derote is a town at the bend of journey, when, on the coast of Spain, 

the westernmost arm of the Nile they are nearing the home ports, 
delta, that is, on the river-way 38-9. Pygmalion's ivory girl . . . 

from Cairo to Alexandria.' (Sea- metamorphosed^ Ovid, again, would 

ton, p. 28.) give Marlowe the metamorphoses 

34. armadoes] An armado (ar- of Pygmalion's ivory statue and 

mada) was, properly, a large war of lo {Metam., x. 243 ff. and 

vessel, though the word was more i. 588 ff.), though Aeschylus's ac- 

generally used of a fleet of ships count {Prom., 640-86) seems to be 

of war. the source of most of the detail 

Callapine, with a fine anticipation in later references. 


And, as thou rid'st in triumph through the streets, 

The pavement underneath thy chariot wheels 

With Turkey carpets shall be covered, 

And cloth of arras hung about the walls, 

Fit objects for thy princely eye to pierce ; 

A hundred bassoes, cloth'd in crimson silk, 

Shall ride before thee on Barbarian steeds ; 

And, when thou goest, a golden canopy 

Enchas'd with precious stones, which shine as bright 

As that fair veil that covers all the world, 50 

When Phoebus, leaping from his hemisphere, 

Descendeth downward to th' Antipodes — 

And more than this, for all I cannot tell. 

Aim. How far hence lies the galley, say you ? 

Call. Sweet Almeda, scarce half a league from hence. 

Aim. But need we not be spied going aboard ? 

Call. Betwixt the hollow hanging of a hill, 
And crooked bending of a craggy rock, 
The sails wrapt up, the mast and tacklings down. 
She lies so close that none can find her out. 60 

Aim. I like that well : but, tell me, my lord, if I should let 
you go, would you be as good as your word ? shall I be 
made a king for my labour ? 

Call. As I am Callapine the emperor. 

And by the hand of Mahomet I swear. 

Thou shalt be crown'd a king and be my mate ! 

Aim. Then here I swear, as I am Almeda, 

Your keeper under Tamburlaine the Great, 

47. thee] the Oj. 

43-4. Turkey carpets . . . cloth Elizabethans. The N.E.D. cites 

o/ayyas] East and West are mingled Blundeville, Horsemanship (1580): 

in these lines. Cloth of arras was ' Those horses which we commonly 

originally that made at Arras call Barbarians, do come out of the 

(France) and the word was used king of Tunis land.' 

generally by the Elizabethans for 56. need we not ?] shall we not 

any rich tapestry or tapestry inevitably ? 

hangings. 61-3. / like . . . labour] The lapse 

47. Barbarian steeds] Barbary into prose is suspicious, 
horses, the familiar ' barbs ' of the 

194 THE SECOND PART OF [act i 

(For that's the style and title I have yet,) 

Although he sent a thousand armed men 70 

To intercept this haughty enterprise, 

Yet would I venture to conduct your grace, 

And die before I brought you back again ! 

Call. Thanks, gentle Almeda ; then let us haste. 
Lest time be past, and lingering let us both. 

Aim. When you will, my lord ; I am ready. 

Call. Even straight : and farewell, cursed Tamburlaine ! 
Now go I to revenge my father's death. \Exeunt. 


Tamburlaine, with Zenocrate, and his three sons, 
Calyphas, Amyras, and Celebinus, with drums and 

Tamb. Now, bright Zenocrate, the world's fair eye. 
Whose beams illuminate the lamps of heaven. 
Whose cheerful looks do clear the cloudy air. 
And clothe it in a crystal livery. 
Now rest thee here on fair Larissa plains. 
Where Egypt and the Turkish empire parts, 

75. let] hinder. 

Scene iv. 
Heading Scene IV] Scena 6 O4. 

Scene iv. of the comma after parts, that in 

5. Larissa plains] Broughton sug- t^^^ Octavo of 1590 completes the 
„ 4. J 4.U 4. ''li,- 4.1? J- 4. -4. needed isolation of the line. It 

gested that this was the district • ,-. , -j.- ■ i.- t_ 

deferred to by Milton : f"^^ ^^^ .^^^^^. P°f^*^°^ ^^ which we 

■' nnd Larissa m the map of the 

'. . . from the bordering flood Turkish Empire, a sea-coast town, 

' Of old Euphrates and the brook south of Gaza ; in the map of 

that parts Africa already cited, it lies a little 

' Egypt from Syrian ground.' to the north of the dotted boun- 

(P.L., I. 419-20.) dary line. It is on the biblical 
Brook of Egypt, and is the Rhino- 

and Miss Seaton comments upon colura of the classical period, the 

the passage : ' It is, in fact, by the " most ancient city Larissa " of the 

brook itself, but Marlowe's exact Crusades, the El Arish of the 

description of the site has been modern map.' {Marlowe's Map, 

obscured by the frequent omission p. 23.) 


Between thy sons, that shall be emperors, 
And every one commander of a world. 

Zeno. Sweet Tamburlaine, when wilt thou leave these arms, 
And save thy sacred person free from scathe, lo 

And dangerous chances of the wrathful war ? 

Tamb. When heaven shall cease to move on both the poles, 
And when the ground, whereon my soldiers march. 
Shall rise aloft and touch the horned moon ; 
And not before, my sweet Zenocrate. 
Sit up, and rest thee like a lovely queen. 
So ; now she sits in pomp and majesty. 
When these my sons, more precious in mine eyes 
Than all the wealthy kingdoms I subdued, 
Plac'd by her side, look on their mother's face. 20 
But yet methinks their looks are amorous, 
Not martial as the sons of Tamburlaine ; 
Water and air, being symbolised in one. 
Argue their want of courage and of wit ; 
Their hair as white as milk and soft as down, 
Which should be like the quills of porcupines. 
As black as jet and hard as iron or steel, 
Bewrays they are too dainty for the wars ; 
Their fingers made to quaver on a lute, 
Their arms to hang about a lady's neck, 30 

Their legs to dance and caper in the air, 
Would make me think them bastards, not my sons. 
But that I know they issued from thy womb, 

25. anc[\ as O3 O4. 

21-2. But yet . . . martial] The 23-4. Water and air . . . ze;i/]The 

misgivings of Tamburlaine and the moist and cold qualities of water 

fulfilment of his fears in the charac- (corresponding to the phlegmatic 

ter of Calyphas (iii. ii. passim and humour) and the moist and hot 

IV. i.) may be traced to the accounts qualities of air (corresponding to 

of the dissolution of Tamburlaine's the sanguine humour) argue ill 

empire through the weakness of for the temperament which is over- 

his successors. They have also a balanced in these directions and 

dramatic value here, introducing lacks the firmness and fierceness 

that hint of frustration and anxiety due to a just admixture of the bile 

which grows more definite as this and choler (earth and fire), 
part of the play progresses. 



That never look'd on man but Tamburlaine. 

Zeno. My gracious lord, they have their mother's looks, 
But, when they list, their conquering father's heart. 
This lovely boy, the youngest of the three. 
Not long ago bestrid a Scythian steed, 
Trotting the ring, and tilting at a glove, 
Which when he tainted with his slender rod, 40 

He rein'd him straight, and made him so curvet 
As I cried out for fear he should have fain. 

Tamh. Well done, my boy ! thou shalt have shield and 

Armour of proof, horse, helm, and curtle-axe, 
^ And I will teach thee how to charge thy foe, 

I And harmless run among the deadly pikes. 

If thou wilt love the wars and follow me, 
Thou shalt be made a king and reign with me. 
Keeping in iron cages emperors. 
If thou exceed thy elder brothers' worth, 50 

And shine in complete virtue more than they. 
Thou shalt be king before them, and thy seed 
Shall issue crowned from their mother's womb. 

Cel. Yes, father ; you shall see me, if I live. 
Have under me as many kings as you. 
And march with such a multitude of men 
As all the world shall tremble at their view. 

Tamh. These words assure me, boy, thou art my son. 
When I am old and cannot manage arms. 
Be thou the scourge and terror of the world. 60 

Amy. Why may not I, my lord, as well as he. 

Be term'd the scourge and terror of the world ? 

57. shair\ should O4. 58. words] word O3. 62. of] toO^. 

40. tainted] originally a technical Macbeth 's use of the intransitive 

term of the tilt yard, meaning verb ' I cannot taint with fear ' 

touched or struck, and so used here. is more general still. 

A less strictly technical usage is 44. Armour of proof] armour of 

cited by the N.E.D. : ' The Enemie metal which has been tested, 

tainted fower of them with Shot 51. virtue] power, courage, 
of one Harquebouse ' (1583) and 


Tamb. Be all a scourge and terror to the world, 
Or else you are not sons of Tamburlaine. 

Caly. But while my brothers follow arms, my lord, 
Let me accompany my gracious mother. 
They are enough to conquer all the world. 
And you have won enough for me to keep. 

Tamb. Bastardly boy, sprung from some coward's loins. 
And not the issue of great Tamburlaine, 70 

Of all the provinces I have subdued 
Thou shalt not have a foot, unless thou bear 
A mind courageous and invincible ; 
For he shall wear the crown of Persia 
Whose head hath deepest scars, whose breast most 

Which, being wroth, sends lightning from his eyes. 
And in the furrows of his frowning brows 
Harbours revenge, war, death and cruelty ; 
For in a field, whose superficies 

Is covered with a liquid purple veil, 80 

And sprinkled with the brains of slaughtered men, 
My royal chair of state shall be advanc'd ; 
And he that means to place himself therein. 
Must armed wade up to the chin in blood. 

Zeno. My lord, such speeches to our princely sons 
Dismays their minds before they come to prove 
The wounding troubles angry war affords. 

Cel. No, madam, these are speeches fit for us ; 
For, if his chair were in a sea of blood, 
I would prepare a ship and sail to it, 90 

63. /o]o/ O4. 79. superficies] Rob. etc. superfluities Oi^^. 

65-8. But while . . . to keep] The 79. superficies] Robinson's con- 
remarks of Calyphas, though ut- jecture is confirmed by the occur- 
terly out of harmony with the mood rence of the word in Paul Ive's 
Tamburlaine's spirit enforces on Practise of Fortification, in a, passsige 
the play, have a note of sound which Marlowe used in the third 
sense which tempts one to believe Act of this part. See Introduction, 
that Marlowe, through him, is p. 45 {note) £E. 
forestalling criticism. 

198 THE SECOND PART OF [act i 

Ere I would lose the title of a king. 

Amy. And I would strive to swim through pools of blood, 
Or make a bridge of murdered carcasses, 
Whose arches should be fram'd with bones of Turks, 
Ere I would lose the title of a king. 

Tamh. Well, lovely boys, you shall be emperors both. 
Stretching your conquering arms from east to west : 
And, sirra, if you mean to wear a crown. 
When we shall meet the Turkish deputy 
And all his viceroys, snatch it from his head, lOO 
And cleave his pericranion with thy sword. 

Caly. If any man will hold him, I will strike. 

And cleave him to the channel with my sword. 

Tamh. Hold him, and cleave him too, or I'll cleave thee ; 
For we will march against them presently. 
Theridamas, Techelles and Casane 
Promised to meet me on Larissa plains. 
With hosts apiece against this Turkish crew ; 
For I have sworn by sacred Mahomet 
To make it parcel of my empery. no 

The trumpets sound, Zenocrate they come. 


Enter Theridamas, and Ms train, with drums and trumpets. 

Tamh. Welcome Theridamas, king of Argier. 

Ther. My lord, the great and mighty Tamburlaine, 
Arch-monarch of the world, I offer here 
My crown, myself, and all the power I have, 

96. you\ ye Og O4. loi. pericranion] pecicranion O^-^. 

103. channel] The channel-bone of the octavos, the entries of 

or collar-bone. The stroke is sug- Theridamas, Techelles and Usum- 

gestive of Homeric or of medieval casane mark fresh scenes, though 

warfare and weapons rather than there is no change of place. Such 

of Scythian. division is a classical usage and it 

Q. ^^g y may here represent Marlowe's in- 

In accordance with the division 



In all affection at thy kingly feet. 

Tamh. Thanks, good Theridamas. 

Ther. Under my colours march ten thousand Greeks, 
And of Argier and Afric's frontier towns 
Twice twenty thousand valiant men-at-arms ; 
All which have sworn to sack Natolia. lo 

Five hundred brigandines are under sail, 
Meet for your service on the sea, my lord, 
That, launching from Argier to Tripoly, 
Will quickly ride before Natolia, 
And batter down the castles on the shore. 

Tamh. Well said, Argier ! receive thy crown again. 


Enter Techelles and Usumcasane together. 

Tamh. Kings of Moroccus and of Fesse, welcome. 
Usum. Magnificent and peerless Tamburlaine, 

I and my neighbour king of Fesse have brought. 

To aid thee in this Turkish expedition, 

A hundred thousand expert soldiers ; 

From Azamor to Tunis near the sea 

Is Barbary unpeopled for thy sake, 

And all the men in armour under me. 

Which with my crown I gladly offer thee. 
Tamh. Thanks, king of Moroccus : take your crown again. lo 

1 1 , brigandines} brigantines were north of Africa : Azamor, Fes, 

small and easily handled vessels Tesella (south of Oran), the pro- 

that could be sailed or rowed. vince Gualata, and Canarie Insula. 

They were frequently used by the Just as he shortened Manicongo 

Mediterranean sailor and had little into Manico for his metre, so he 

resemblance to the modern brigan- here shortens Biledulgerid into 

tine. BileduU * . . . [1. 21]. 'Estrechode 

Scene vi. Gilbraltar, here, and in Europe and 

3-22. / and my neighbour . . . Spam, gives him " the narrow 

for thy sake'] On the place-names in straight of Gibralter " [1. 53], ' so 

this passage Miss Seaton remarks : that it is not necessary even for the 

' In the same map [Africa] Marlowe metre to replace this form by that 

would find the towns conquered by of Tamburlaine, Part I, Jubalter ' 

Techelles and Usumcasane in the (p. 29). 


Tech. And, mighty Tamburlaine, our earthly god, 
Whose looks make this inferior world to quake, 
I here present thee with the crown of Fesse, 
And with an host of Moors trained to the war, 
Whose coal-black faces make their foes retire. 
And quake for fear, as if infernal Jove, 
\\%\ Meaning to aid thee in these Turkish arms. 

Should pierce the black circumference of hell, 
With ugly Furies bearing fiery flags. 
And millions of his strong tormenting spirits ; 20 

From strong Tesella unto Biledull 
All Barbary is unpeopled for thy sake. 

Tamb. Thanks, king of Fesse ; take here thy crown again. 
Your presence, loving friends and fellow kings. 
Makes me to surfeit in conceiving joy ; 
If all the crystal gates of Jove's high court 
Were opened wide, and I might enter in 
To see the state and majesty of heaven. 
It could not more delight me than your sight. 
Now will we banquet on these plains a while, 30 

And after march to Turkey with our camp. 
In number more than are the drops that fall 
When Boreas rents a thousand swelling clouds ; 
And proud Orcanes of Natolia 
With all his viceroys shall be so afraid. 

Scene vi. 

14. way] warres O3 O4. 16. if] if the O4. 17. thee] Rob. them O^-^- 
these] this O^ O^. 

14-15. Moors . . . coal black faces] The Furies then are in his imme- 

The faces of Moors would hardly diate service. These beings are 

be coal-black ; the description frequently represented as bearing 

applies rather to Nubians or some firebrands. See especially Ovid, 

other negro race of Africa. But the Her., xi. 103-4; Metam., vi. 430 

term ' Moor ' was loosely used by and Cicero, de Leg., i. 14, 40. 

most of the writers from whom 26. Jove's high court] Here the 

Marlowe drew his information. supreme ruler of the heavens, 

16. infernal Jove] Hades, or Zeus or Jupiter is meant. 

Pluto, in his capacity as ruler of 33. For Boreas, see I, i. ii. 205 

the infernal regions, is sometimes, and note, 
as here, called ' Jovis inferum '. 


That, though the stones, as at DeucaHon's flood. 

Were turned to men, he should be overcome. 

Such lavish will I make of Turkish blood, 

That Jove shall send his winged messenger 

To bid me sheathe my sw^ord and leave the field ; 40 

The sun, unable to sustain the sight, 

Shall hide his head in Thetis' watery lap, 

And leave his steeds to fair Bootes' charge ; 

For half the world shall perish in this fight. 

But now, my friends, let me examine ye ; 

How have ye spent your absent time from me ? 

Usum. My lord, our men of Barbary have marched 
Four hundred miles with armour on their backs, 
And lain in leaguer fifteen months and more ; 
For, since we left you at the Soldan's court, 50 

We have subdued the southern Guallatia, 
And all the land unto the coast of Spain ; 
We kept the narrow Strait of Gibraltar, 
And made Canarea call us kings and lords ; 
Yet never did they recreate themselves, 
Or cease one day from war and hot alarms ; 
And therefore let them rest a while, my lord. 

Tamh. They shall, Casane, and 'tis time, i'faith. 

Tech. And I have march'd along the river Nile 

To Machda, where the mighty Christian priest, 60 

36-7. stones . . . turn'd to men] camp that was engaged in a 

Ovid describes the rebirth of the siege. 

race of men after the flood from 60 seq. To Machda . . . unto 

the stones thrown by DeucaHon and Damasco] The names in Techelles' 

Pyrrha in Metam., i. 318 ff. march from Machda to Damasco 

41-3. The sun , . . leave his have long troubled Marlowe's crit- 

steeds] Ovid {Metam., 11. i ff.) de- ics. Broughton and others emend 

scribes the chariot and steeds of ' Western ' (1. 68) to ' Eastern ', 

the sun, with which he drives Cunningham adding a note upon 

across the heavens to sink into the general weakness of Marlowe's 

the Ocean in the West. geographical knowledge revealed 

43. For Bootes, see I, i. ii. 206 by this passage and by i. i. 37 above, 

and note. Miss Seaton has shown that Mar- 

49. leaguer] was a military term lowe follows carefully the map of 

originally imported from the Low Africa in Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis 

Countries. To lie in leaguer was Terr arum, even to the smallest 

to lie in camp, particularly in a details. In looking at this map, 



[act I 

Caird John the Great, sits in a milk-white robe, 

Whose triple mitre I did take by force. 

And made him swear obedience to my crown. 

From thence unto Cazates did I march, 

Where Amazonians met me in the field. 

With whom, being women, I vouchsafed a league. 

And with my power did march to Zanzibar, 

The western part of Afric, where I view'd 

The Ethiopian sea, rivers and lakes. 

But neither man nor child in all the land. 70 

Therefore I took my course to Manico, 

she explains, ' The eye is drawn to 
Machda, an Abyssinian town on a 
tributary of the Nile, by the 
neighbouring note : Hie longe 
lateq ; imperitat magnus princeps 
Presbiter loes totius Africe poten- 
tiss : Rex. . . . Where the Nile 
rises in a great unnamed lake, the 
district Cafates has for its chief 
town Cazates, and is called Ama- 
zonum regio. Then comes the 
crux : (11. 67-70) Beside Cape 
Negro appears in large print the 
province-name ZANZIBAR, with 
the note : hec pars Africe meridion- 
alis quq veteribus incognita fuit, 
a Persis Arabibusq ; scriptoribus 
vacatur. Between this western part 
and South America the sea is 
named Oceanus Aethiopicus in 
flourished letters ; in the province 
small rivers abound, and to north 
and south of the name Zanzibar is 
that word so useful to the carto- 
grapher in difficulties, Deserta. 
Marlowe, it must be observed, is 
therefore vindicated when he speaks 
of Zanzibar as not on the western 
coast, but as itself the western 
part. He is equally explicit later, 
when Tamburlaine examines his 
map and accepts his general's con- 
quests as his own ; reversing the 
actual order of march he passes 
along the Ethiopian sea. 
Cutting the Tropicke line of Capri- 
I conquered all as far as Zansibar. 
(Part II, v. iii.) 
' Actually the name Zanzibar is 

to the north of the Tropic, but the 
coloured maps make it clear that 
the province includes the whole 
southern portion of the continent, 
from Cape Negro to the Cape of 
Good Hope and so round to Mozam- 
bique. In this location of the pro- 
vince Zanzibar, or more commonly 
Zanguebar, on the western coast, 
Ortelius is at variance with many 
contemporary authorities, and the 
map of Africa by Gastaldo (1564) 
which otherwise he followed very 
closely, does not include it at all. 
... In any case, the responsi- 
bility for that oft-emended western 
rests with Ortelius, not with our 

' Techelles has reached his south- 
ernmost point ; turning north- 
wards, he passes successively 
through Manico, by the coast of 
Byather, and so "to Cubar, where 
the Negros dwell ". On the map, 
Manico, curtailed by Marlowe for 
his metre, appears in full style as 
the province Manicongo, Byather 
the province in its more correct 
and modern form of Biafar, while 
above the province and town of 
Guber is printed in bold type 
Nigritarum Regio. . . . Borno, the 
chief town of Nubia, lies near the 
shore of Borno lacus, that " Borno 
Lake " which Tamburlaine himself 
mentions later. . . . One can al- 
most follow Marlowe's finger 
travelling down the page as he 
plans the campaign.' (Marlowe's 
Map, pp. 17-18.) 


Where, unresisted, I removed my camp ; 

And, by the coast of Byather, at last 

I came to Cubar, where the negroes dwell, 

And, conquering that, made haste to Nubia. 

There, having sacked Borno, the kingly seat, 

I took the king and led him bound in chains 

Unto Damasco, where I stayed before. 
Tamh. Well done, Techelles ! What saith Theridamas ? 
Ther. I left the confines and the bounds of Afric, 80 

And made a voyage into Europe, 

Where, by the river Tyros, I subdu'd 

Stoka, Padolia, and Codemia ; 

Then crossed the sea and came to Oblia, 

And Nigra Silva, where the devils dance. 

Which, in despite of them, I set on fire. 

From thence I crossed the gulf call'd by the name 

Mare Majore of th* inhabitants. 

Yet shall my soldiers make no period 

Until Natolia kneel before your feet. 90 

88. th' inhabitants] the inhabitants O3 O4. 

81. And made . . . Europe] The is the thick, green, hollow square 

line is metrically defective and of Nigra Silva, but even in this 

various emendations have been picture atlas, there is never a devil 

suggested : ' And thence I made ' dancing there. It is disconcerting 

(Cunningham, Bullen), ' Europa ' to find the Black Forest cropping 

(Elze, Wagner). up thus near Odessa, but a quota- 

82 seq. by the river Tyros . . . tion given by Mercator in his later 

th' inhabitants] For Theridamas's atlas explains both the position 

line of march we may turn again to and the ill repute : ' ' La Forest 

Miss Seaton's elucidation. ' With Hercynie va iusques ... a ce 

some variations of spelling that qu'elle aye atteint les derniers 

make one wonder whether Mar- Tartares, ou elle se nomme la 

lowe's o's and a's were almost in- Forest noire ou obscure, sans 

distinguishable, all these names bornes, sans chemins, ny sentiers 

cluster round the north-west shore fraiez : et tant pour la cruaute 

oithe'BlaiCkSea,, the Mare Magiore. des bestes farouches, que pour 

The River Tyros (the Dniester) les monstrueuses terreurs des Faunes 

acts as the southern boundary of espouventables, du tout inaccessible 

the province Podalia ; Stoko is on auxhumains." (Footnote: "French 

it, and Codemia lies to the north- text of 1619, p. 227. Cf. A. H. 

east on another stream. Partly Gilbert, A Geographical Diction- 

separating Codemia from Olbia, ary of Milton, s.v. Hercynian 

and thus perhaps suggesting an Wilderness.")' [Marlowe's Map, 

otherwise unnecessary sea- journey, p. 29.) 


Tamb. Then will we triumph, banquet, and carouse ; 
Cooks shall have pensions to provide us cates. 
And glut us with the dainties of the world ; 
Lachryma Christi and Calabrian wines 
Shall common soldiers drink in quaffing bowls. 
Ay, liquid gold, when we have conquer 'd him. 
Mingled with coral and with orient pearl. 
Come, let us banquet and carouse the whiles. [Exeunt, 

Finis Actus primi. 

97. orient] Rob. etc. oriental{l) Oi_^. 

94. Lachryma Christi] is a sweet 97. orient] Robinson's conjecture, 
South Italian wine. The earUest followed by most later editors, for 
reference cited by the N.E.D. is oriental (1) of the octavos ; ' orient ' 
that of Coryat {Crudities, 161 1) is so common an epithet for pearl 
which Marlowe's antedates by that the conjecture carries con- 
twenty odd years. siderable weight. 



SiGisMUND, Frederick, Baldwin, with their train. 

Sig. Now say, my lords of Buda and Bohemia, 

What motion is it that inflames your thoughts, 
And stirs your valours to such sudden arms ? 

Fred. Your majesty remembers, I am sure. 

What cruel slaughter of our Christian bloods 

These heathenish Turks and pagans lately made 

Betwixt the city Zula and Danubius ; 

How through the midst of Verna and Bulgaria, 

And almost to the very waUs of Rome, 

They have, not long since, massacred our camp. lo 

It resteth now, then, that your majesty 

Take all advantages of time and power, 

And work revenge upon these infidels. 

Your highness knows, for Tamburlaine's repair. 

That strikes a terror to all Turkish hearts, 

Natolia hath dismissed the greatest part 

Of aU his army, pitched against our power 

Betwixt Cutheia and Orminius' mount, 

Act II. Scene i. 
i8. Cutheia] Cuthea O3 O4. 

Act II. Scene i. Constantinople : the word may 

7-9. Zula . . . Rome] ' Zula,' have been suggested by Roma in 

Miss Seaton remarks, ' which has large type just north of Constanti- 

vanished from the average modern nople, violently and ludicrously 

map, appears in. the Europe of Orte- separated from its nia.' {Marlowe's 

lius to the north of the Danube, in Map, p. 30.) 

the province of Rascia ; the same 18. Betwixt . . . mount] Miss 

map offers a possible explanation Seaton [R.E.S.) points out that 

of that puzzling Rome, which cannot these forms are not those of 

mean Rome though it may mean Ortelius (' Chiutaie ' and ' Hor- 




[act II 

And sent them marching up to Belgasar, 

Acantha, Antioch, and Caesarea, 20 

To aid the kings of Soria and Jerusalem. 

Now, then, my lord, advantage take hereof. 

And issue suddenly upon the rest ; 

That, in the fortune of their overthrow. 

We may discourage all the pagan troop 

That dare attempt to war with Christians. 

Stg. But calls not, then, your grace to memory 
The league we lately made with King Orcanes, 
Confirmed by oath and articles of peace, 
And calling Christ for record of our truths ? 30 

This should be treachery and violence 
Against the grace of our profession. 

Bald. No whit, my lord ; for with such infidels, 

20. Acantha] Acanthia O3. 22. hereof] thereof O2 heereof O4. 

minius '), but of Lonicerus (1578, 
I. f. 28 ; 1584, I. p. 50) : ' Hunc 
magno proelio superatum, atque 
in fugam conjectum, festinoque 
advolatu obrutum ac circumfessum 
conclusit intra Cutheiam urbem 
ad Orminium montem, in veteri 
Caucorum sede, quae urbs totius 
Asiae minoris umbilicus ac mag- 
istri equitum Anatoliae sedes est.' 
The passage refers to a later battle 
and the detail has clearly been 
lifted by Marlowe from its setting, 
like many others, to give a mis- 
leading effect of definition to this 
unhistorical battle. In the earlier 
article {Marlowe's Map) Miss Sea- 
ton comments upon the position 
taken up by the Natolian army : 
' Marlowe does not, however, com- 
mit himself to the site of Varna for 
this anachronistic battle, but seems 
purposely to transport it into Asia 
Minor, and to prefer indication to 
precise location. The Turkish 
troops were in fact withdrawn into 
Asia Minor, and it was a lightning- 
move by the Sultan that hurled 
them back into Europe to meet the 
truce-breakers at Varna ; Mar- 

lowe seems content to leave them 
in Natolia. . . . Mount Horminius 
is shown only in the map of Graecia 
in the Parergon, situated in Bithy- 
nia, east and slightly south of the 
modern Scutari. . . . Belgasar 
and Acantha appear in the map of 
Asia as Beglasar and Acanta in a 
line leading roughly south-east 
through Asia Minor while the 
former is to be found again as 
Begbasar in Natolia and as Begasar 
in Turcicum Imperium.' 

33-41. No whit . . . victory] With 
the arguments used here by Bald- 
win and by Frederick we may com- 
pare those addressed by the Cardinal 
JuUan to Vladislaus and the Chris- 
tian leaders whom he incited to 
attack Amurath after the with- 
drawal of the main Turkish army 
from Europe : ' Omni in perfidium 
hostem arte, vi, fraudeque, uti licet, 
ars arte eluditur, et fraus fraude cir- 
cumvenienda est. . . . Deum, quod 
coelesti benignitate prohibeat, si 
aliter feceritis, acerrimum viola- 
tae fidei fore vindicem existimate, 
et nihil reputate, Christo optimo 
maximo gratius, vobisque glorio- 


In whom no faith nor true religion rests, 

We are not bound to those accomphshments 

The holy laws of Christendom enjoin ; 

But, as the faith which they profanely plight 

Is not by necessary policy 

To be esteem'd assurance for ourselves, 

So what we vow to them should not infringe 40 

Our liberty of arms and victory. 

Sig. Though I confess the oaths they undertake 
Breed little strength to our security. 
Yet those infirmities that thus defame 
Their faiths, their honours and their religion. 
Should not give us presumption to the like. 
Our faiths are sound, and must be consummate. 
Religious, righteous, and inviolate. 

Fred. Assure your grace, 'tis superstition 

To stand so strictly on dispensive faith 50 

And, should we lose the opportunity 

That God hath given to venge our Christians* death, 

And scourge their foul blasphemous paganism, 

As fell to Saul, to Balaam, and the rest. 

That would not kill and curse at God's command, 

So surely will the vengeance of the highest. 

And jealous anger of his fearful arm. 

Be pour'd with rigour on our sinful heads. 

If we neglect this offered victory. 

Stg. Then arm, my lords, and issue suddenly, 60 

40. what we] that we Og. 45. faiths] fame O4. 47. consummate] Dyce ^ 
etc. consinuate Ol.^. 59. this] the O4. 

sius futurum, quam occupatas a reading ' consinuate ' of the octavos, 

Turca provincias omnes, humani 50. dispensive faith] faith which 

divinique juris experti, a fera ilHus is subject to dispensation ; for the 

servitute vindicare.' (Bonfinius. setting aside of which allowance 

De Rer. Ung., Dec. III. Lib. vi. is made, 

pp. 457-9.) 54. Saul . . . Balaam] See i Sam- 

35. accomplishment] here has the uel-Kv. and Numbers xxii. and xxiii. 

sense of ' fulfilment ', either of But Marlowe's scriptural knowledge 

obligation or of promise. is not so sound as his knowledge of 

47. consummate] The reading of Ovid, for Balaam's position is the 

Dyce * in emendation of the converse of Sigismund's. 

208 THE SECOND PART OF [actii 

Giving commandment to our general host, 

With expedition to assail the pagan, 

And take the victory our God hath given. [Exeunt. 


Orcanes, Gazellus, Uribassa, with their train. 

Ore. GazeUus, Uribassa, and the rest, 

Now will we march from proud Orminius' mount 

To fair Natolia, where our neighbour kings 

Expect our power and our royal presence, 

T' encounter with the cruel Tamburlaine, 

That nigh Larissa sways a mighty host. 

And with the thunder of his martial tools 

Makes earthquakes in the hearts of men and heaven. 

Gaz. And now come we to make his sinews shake 

With greater power than erst his pride hath felt. lo 
An hundred kings, by scores, will bid him arms. 
And hundred thousands subjects to each score : 
Which, if a shower of wounding thunderbolts 
Should break out of the bowels of the clouds. 
And fall as thick as hail upon our heads, 
In partial aid of that proud Scythian, 
Yet should our courages and steeled crests. 
And numbers, more than infinite, of men, 
Be able to withstand and conquer him. 

Uri. Methinks I see how glad the Christian king 20 

Is made for joy of your admitted truce. 
That could not but before be terrified 
With unacquainted power of our host. 

Scene ii. 

7. martial] materiall Og. lo. than] then O3 O4. 14. Should] Sould O4, 
of] off O^ O2. 21. your] our O3 O4. 

Scene ii. 6. Larissa] see i. iv. 5 above, and 

2. Ormmius] see i. 18 above, and note, 


Enter a Messenger. 

Mess. Arm, dread sovereign, and my noble lords ! 
The treacherous army of the Christians, 
Taking advantage of your slender power. 
Comes marching on us, and determines straight 
To bid us battle for our dearest lives. 

Ore. Traitors, villains, damned Christians ! 

Have I not here the articles of peace 30 

And solemn covenants we have both confirmed. 
He by his Christ, and I by Mahomet ? 

Gaz. Hell and confusion light upon their heads. 
That with such treason seek our overthrow. 
And cares so little for their prophet Christ ! 

Ore. Can there be such deceit in Christians, 
Or treason in the fleshly heart of man, 
Whose shape is figure of the highest God ? 
Then, if there be a Christ, as Christians say. 
But in their deeds deny him for their Christ, 40 

If he be son to everliving Jove, 
And hath the power of his outstretched arm, 
If he be jealous of his name and honour 
As is our holy prophet Mahomet, 
Take here these papers as our sacrifice 
And witness of thy servant's perjury ! 
Open, thou shining veil of Cynthia, 

46. perjury] S.D. He tears to pieces the articles of peace. Add. Dyce. 

29 seq. Traitors . . . we shall have perfide suum Deum abnegarunt. 

victory'] With the speeches of Or- Nunc Christe, si Deus es (ut aiunt, 

canes and the events that follow et nos hallucinamur) tuas measque 

here, we may compare the words hie injurias, te quaeso, ulciscere : 

of Amurath at the battle of Varna. et his qui sanctum tuum nomen 

The likeness is very close : nondum agnovere, violatae fidei 

' Depromptum e sinu codicem poenas ostende." Vix haec dixerat 

initi sanctissime foederis, explicat : ... quum praelium . . . inclin- 

intentis in coelum oculis, " Haec are coepit. . . . Talis igitur poe- 

sunt " (inquit ingeminans) " lesu nas, exauditis Turc^ imprecationi- 

Christe foedera, quae Christiani tui bus, Deus Justus k Christianis 

mecum percussere : per numen exegit.' (Bonfinius, loc. cit., p. 

tuum sancte jurarunt, datamque 465.) 
sub nomine tuo fidem violarunt, 

210 THE SECOND PART OF [actii 

And make a passage from th' imperial heaven, 

That he that sits on high and never sleeps, 

Nor in one place is circumscriptible, 50 

But everywhere fills every continent 

With strange infusion of his sacred vigour, 

May, in his endless power and purity, 

Behold and venge this traitor's perjury ! 

Thou, Christ, that art esteem'd omnipotent. 

If thou wilt prove thyself a perfect God, 

Worthy the worship of all faithful hearts. 

Be now reveng'd upon this traitor's soul. 

And make the power I have left behind 

Too little to defend our guiltless lives 60 

Sufficient to discomfit and confound 

The trustless force of those false Christians ! 

To arms, my lords ! on Christ still let us cry : 

If there be Christ, we shall have victory. [Exeunt, 


Sound to the battle, and Sigismund comes out wounded. 

Sig. Discomfited is all the Christian host. 

And God hath thundered vengeance from on high. 

For my accursed and hateful perjury. 

O just and dreadful punisher of sin. 

Let the dishonour of the pains I feel 

In this my mortal well-deserved wound 

End all my penance in my sudden death ! 

63. lords] Lord O4. 64. S.D. Exeunt'] Add. Rob. etc. om. O^.^. 

Scene Hi. 
Heading Scene Hi] Add. Rob. etc. i. Christian] Christians O3 O4. 

48. imperial] see I, iv. iv. 30. and the play (11. vii. 18-26). The two 

note. passages, taken together, furnish 

49-52. That he that sits . . . the best clue to Marlowe's religious 

vigour] These fine and clear lines thought at the period preceding 

deserve to be compared with those the writing of Faustus. 
on the soul in the earlier part of 


And let this death, wherein to sin I die, 
Conceive a second life in endless mercy 1 

Enter Orcanes, Gazellus, Uribassa, with others. 

Ore. Now lie the Christians bathing in their bloods, lo 
And Christ or Mahomet hath been my friend. 

Gaz. See here the perjur'd traitor Hungary, 
Bloody and breathless for his villainy ! 

Ore, Now shall his barbarous body be a prey 

To beasts and fowls, and all the winds shall breathe 

Through shady leaves of every senseless tree, 

Murmurs and hisses for his heinous sin. 

Now scalds his soul in the Tartarian streams, 

And feeds upon the baneful tree of hell. 

That Zoacum, that fruit of bitterness, 20 

That in the midst of fire is ingraffed, 

Yet flourisheth as Flora in her pride. 

With apples like the heads of damned fiends. 

The devils there, in chains of quenchless flame 

Shall lead his soul through Orcus' burning gulf, 

From pain to pain, whose change shall never end. 

What sayst thou yet, Gazellus, to his foil, 

24. quenchless] quencelesse Oj. 

Scene in. Tom. I, Lib. ii., Secunda Pars, 

18-23. Now scalds his soul . . . Cap. xxiii. De Animarum Damna- 

damned fiends'] Miss Seaton {Fresh tarum Poenis, 1578, f. 64 ; 1584, 

Sources for Marlowe, R.E.S., Oct., p. 122. See Seaton, op. cit., p. 

1929) has pointed out that the 386.) Lonicerus derives his ac- 

source for these hnes is to be found count, of course, indirectly from 

in Chronicorum Turcorum Tomi the Koran, chapter 47. 
Duo of Phihppus Lonicerus (Frank- 24-6. quenchless flame . . . never 

furt, 1578, 1584) and that Marlowe's end] It may be noticed that, the 

' Zoacum ' (for ' ezecum ') is a form specific quotation from Lonicerus 

peculiar to Lonicerus : ' Credunt ended, Orcanes' hell becomes now 

praeterea arborem, quam vocant that of the Christians (1. 24, 26), 

Zoacum agacci, hoc est, amaritu- now that of the Greeks (1. 25). 

dinis, in medio inferni, licet igni For Orcus, see I, iii. i. 65, and 

quasi infixam, florere, cuius sin- note. 

gula poma diabolorum capitibus 27-30. foil] disgrace. The sin 

sint similia. . . . Tum etiam dia- of Sigismund has been referred (by 

boli ipsi ignitis eos [damnatos] Orcanes) to his God for judgment 

catenis constrictos (ne una poe- and its wickedness is clearly re- 

narum tormentorumque sit facies) vealed in the punishment which 

assidue volutant.' (Lonicerus, has fallen upon him. 

212 THE SECOND PART OF [actii 

Which we referred to justice of his Christ 

And to his power, which here appears as full 

As rays of Cynthia to the clearest sight ? 30 

Gaz. 'Tis but the fortune of the wars, my lord, 
Whose power is often prov'd a miracle. 

Ore. Yet in my thoughts shall Christ be honoured, 
Not doing Mahomet an injury. 
Whose power had share in this our victory ; 
And, since this miscreant hath disgrac'd his faith. 
And died a traitor both to heaven and earth. 
We will both watch and ward shall keep his trunk 
Amidst these plains for fowls to prey upon. 
Go, Uribassa, give it straight in charge. 40 

Uri. I will, my lord. [Exit Urih. 

Ore. And now, Gazellus, let us haste and meet 
Our army, and our brothers of Jerusalem, 
Of Soria, Trebizon, and Amasia, 
And happily, with full Natolian bowls 
Of Greekish wine, now let us celebrate 
Our happy conquest and his angry fate. [Exeunt, 


The arras is drawn, and Zenocrate lies in her hed of state ; 
Tamburlaine sitting by her; three Physicians about 
her bed, tempering potions ; Theridamas, Techelles, 
UsuMCASANE and the three sons. 

Tamb. Black is the beauty of the brightest day ; 
The golden ball of heaven's eternal fire. 
That danc'd with glory on the silver waves, 
Now wants the fuel that inflamed his beams. 
And all with faint ness and for foul disgrace. 
He binds his temples with a frowning cloud. 
Ready to darken earth with endless night. 

34. an] any O4. 38. shalV] and O^. trunk] tranke Og. 40. give] and 
give O4. 


Zenocrate, that gave him light and life, 

Whose eyes shot fire from their ivory bowers, 

And tempered every soul with lively heat, lo 

Now by the malice of the angry skies. 

Whose jealousy admits no second mate. 

Draws in the comfort of her latest breath. 

All dazzled with the hellish mists of death. 

Now walk the angels on the walls of heaven. 

As sentinels to warn th' immortal souls 

To entertain divine Zenocrate : 

Apollo, Cynthia, and the ceaseless lamps 

That gently look'd upon this loathsome earth. 

Shine downwards now no more, but deck the heavens 20 

To entertain divine Zenocrate : 

The crystal springs, whose taste illuminates 

Refined eyes with an eternal sight. 

Like tried silver run through Paradise 

To entertain divine Zenocrate : 

The cherubins and holy seraphins, 

That sing and play before the King of Kings, 

Use all their voices and their instruments 

To entertain divine Zenocrate : 

And in this sweet and curious harmony, 30 ^ ^ ,4^" 

The god that tunes this music to our souls 

Holds out his hand in highest majesty ^ 

To entertain divine Zenocrate. ^ " 

Then let some holy trance convey my thoughts 

Up to the palace of th' imperial heaven, 

Scene iv. 
9. their] om. O^. 19. this] the O3 O4. 

Scene iv. 22-4. The crystal springs . . . 

Paradise] Lines again characteristic 

9. bowers] the reading of the of Marlowe, the river ' the streams 

octavos ; Dyce would have sub- whereof make glad the City of 

stituted ' brows '. Cunningham God ' mingling with the waters 

suggested that ' the eyes of Zeno- of Aganippe. 

crate were embowered in her 35. imperial] see I, iv. iv. 30, 

ivory skin *. and note. 

214 THE SECOND PART OF [act n 

That this my life may be as short to me 
As are the days of sweet Zenocrate. 
Physicians, will no physic do her good ? 

First Phys. My lord, your majesty shall soon perceive, 
And if she pass this fit, the worst is past. 40 

Tamh. Tell me, how fares my fair Zenocrate ? 

Zeno. I fare, my lord, as other empresses. 
That, when this frail and transitory flesh 
Hath sucked the measure of that vital air 
That feeds the body with his dated health, 
Wanes with enforced and necessary change. 

Tamb. May never such a change transform my love, 
In whose sweet being I repose my life. 
Whose heavenly presence, beautified with health. 
Gives light to Phoebus and the fixed stars, 50 

Whose absence makes the sun and moon as dark 
As when, opposed in one diameter. 
Their spheres are mounted on the serpent's head, 
Or else descended to his winding train. 
Live still, my love, and so conserve my life. 
Or, dying, be the author of my death. 

Zeno. Live still, my lord ; O, let my sovereign live ! 

38. no] not O2. 43. and] a O^. 56. author] anchor Oj.s. 

42-6. / fare, my lord . . . change] and moon in an eclipse are here de- 

The character of Zenocrate has scribed. The ecHpse of the moon 

been sUghtly but clearly drawn occurs when it is ' opposite ' to the 

throughout. Not the least of her sun on the same diameter, i.e. 

functions is this insistence upon when the earth intervenes. Mar- 

the frailty of man and the tran- lowe adds a further condition when 

sience of his glory. Even when he says that the head or the tail 

living in the world of Tamburlaine of the sign Scorpio of the zodiac 

whose hand turns Fortune's wheel must fall in the same plane and in 

about, Marlowe is never unaware the same right line in that plane 

of the presence of this wistful as the three other bodies, the moon, 

melancholy. He never attempted the earth and the sun. The sig- 

fuUy to harmonize the two ; Tarn- nificance of this addition escapes 

burlaine proclaims one theme while me. 

the later Edward II is pervaded 56. author] the reading of O4 is 

by that of Zenocrate, so strictly followed by Dyce and many later 

subordinated here. editors. If ' anchor ' of O1-3 is 

45. dated] limited, having its retained, the line can be inter- 
end, preordained. Cf. I, 11. vi. 37. preted, as Wagner points out, 

52-4. The positions of the sun ' Draw on my death through thine.* 


And sooner let the fiery element 

Dissolve, and make your kingdom in the sky, 

Than this base earth should shroud your majesty ; 60 

For, should I but suspect your death by mine, i 

The comfort of my future happiness, ^ 

And hope to meet your highness in the heavens, j 

Turn'd to despair, would break my wretched breast, ' 

And fury would confound my present rest. [ 

But let me die, my love ; yet, let me die ; < 

With love and patience let your true love die : | 

Your grief and fury hurts my second life. . 

Yet let me kiss my lord before I die, j 

And let me die with kissing of my lord. 70 ' 

But, since my life is lengthened yet a while, 

Let me take leave of these my loving sons. 

And of my lords, whose true nobility 

Have merited my latest memory. 

Sweet sons, farewell ; in death resemble me, 

And in your lives your father's excellency. 

Some music, and my fit will cease, my lord. 

[They call music. 

Tamh. Proud fury and intolerable fit. 

That dares torment the body of my love, 
And scourge the scourge of the immortal God ! 80 
Now are those spheres, where Cupid used to sit. 
Wounding the world with wonder and with love, 
Sadly supplied with pale and ghastly death, 
Whose darts do pierce the centre of my soul. 
Her sacred beauty hath enchanted heaven, 

. And had she liv'd before the siege of Troy, 
-L^ Helen, whose beauty summoned Greece to arms, 
And drew a thousand ships to Tenedos, 

60. Than] Then O3 O4. 65. And] an O3. 76. excellency] excellence 
O3 O4. 77. S.D. call] call for O3 O4. 

88. And drew . . . Tenedos] An ' Is this the face that launched a 
anticipation of Fausius, 1. 1328 : thousand ships.' 



[act II 



Had not been nam'd in Homer's Iliads, 

Her name had been in every line he wrote ; 90 

Or had those wanton poets, for whose birth 

Old Rome was proud, but gazed a while on her, 

Nor Lesbia nor Corinna had been nam'd, 

Zenocrate had been the argument 

Of every epigram or elegy. 

[The music sounds and she dies. 
What, is she dead ? Techelles, draw thy sword. 
And wound the earth, that it may cleave in twain. 
And we descend into th' infernal vaults. 
To hale the fatal Sisters by the hair, 
And throw them in the triple moat of hell, 100 

For taking hence my fair Zenocrate. 
Casane and Theridamas, to arms ! 
Raise cavalieros higher than the clouds. 
And with the cannon break the frame of heaven ; 
Batter the shining palace of the sun. 
And shiver all the starry firmament, 
^For amorous Jove hath snatched my love from hence. 
Meaning to make her stately quee^^ of heaven:. 

93. Lesbia nor Corinna] These 
names, which came, in time, to 
be almost typical, are associated 
chiefly with the love poetry of 
Horace, Ovid and Catullus. Cor- 
inna appears in twelve of the 
Elegies of Ovid which Marlowe had 
translated at some date slightly 
earlier than that of Tamburlaine. 

100. the triple moat of hell] seems 
to be Marlowe's own addition to 
our conception of infernal geo- 
graphy, probably suggested by 
Virgil's lines {Aen., vi. 548 ff.) on 
the triple wall of hell : 

' sub rupe sinistra 
moenia lata videt triplici circum- 

data muro, 
quae rapidus flammis ambit torren- 

tibus amnis, 
Tartareus Phlegethon.' 

It is interesting to compare also 

Dante's references to the walls 
and moats of hell {Inf., viii. 74 
and xviii. i ff.). 

103. cavalieros] according to 
Cunningham, ' mound (s) for can- 
non, elevated above the rest of the 
works of a fortress, as a horseman 
is raised above a foot-soldier.' 
Danchin {Rev. Germ.) quotes R. P. 
Millet, L'Art de fortifier (1683), 
p. 16 : ' Des terrasses elevees par- 
dessus le Rempart pour y loger le 
canon. On les appelle ainsi k cause 
qu'elles sont autant elevees par- 
dessus les autres ouvrages qu'un 
Cavalier par-dessus un homme de 

105. palace of the sun] the palace 
of Helios is described by the later 
classical poets as lying in the east ; 
in many cases, he has another 
palace in the west, where he goes to 
rest at night. 


What god soever holds thee in his arms, 
Giving thee nectar and ambrosia, no 

Behold me here, divine Zenocrate, 
Raving, impatient, desperate and mad. 
Breaking my steeled lance, with which I burst 
The rusty beams of Janus' temple doors. 
Letting out death and tyrannising war, 
To march with me under this bloody flag ! 
And, if thou pitiest Tamburlaine the Great, 
Come down from heaven and live with me again ! 
Ther. Ah, good my lord, be patient ! she is dead, 

And all this raging cannot make her live. 120 

j If words might serve, our voice hath rent the air ; 

/ If tears, our eyes have watered all the earth ; 

" If grief, our murdered hearts have strained forth blood. 
Nothing prevails, for she is dead, my lord. 
Tamh. For she is dead 1 thy words do pierce my soul : 
Ah, sweet Theridamas, say so no more ; 
Though she be dead, yet let me think she lives, 
And feed my mind that dies for want of her. 
Where'er her soul be, thou shalt stay with me, 
Embalm'd with cassia, amber greece, and myrrh, 130 
Not lapt in lead, but in a sheet of gold. 
And, till I die, thou shalt not be interred. 
Then in as rich a tomb as Mausolus 
We both will rest and have one epitaph 

129. Thou S.D. To the body.] Add. Dyce. 132. shalt] shall O4. 
134. one] on O2 our O4. 

1 14-15. Janus' temple-doors . . . Rome, originally apparently a sun- 

war] Marlowe appean^; to refer to god. 

the covered passage near the Forum 125-8. For she is dead! . . . 

known sometimes as the Temple of want of her] There is fine under- 

Janus, whose doors stood open in standing, beyond the reach of the 

time of war, to symbolize the earlier play, in these lines. It has 

absence with the fighting forces departed entirely from the picture 

of the presiding deity, and were of Tamburlaine offered by the 

shut in time of peace so that western sources, 

the God of the city might not i^o. amber greece] SLmheTgris. The 

escape. Janus was never a god reading of the octavos is retained, 

of war, as Marlowe's lines almost 133. Mausolus] a false quantity, 

imply, but a tutelary deity of rare with Marlowe. 


Writ in as many several languages 

As I have conquered kingdoms with my sword. 

This cursed town will I consume with fire, 

Because this place bereft me of my love ; 

The houses, burnt, will look as if they mourn'd ; 

And here will I set up her stature 140 

And march about it with my mourning camp. 

Drooping and pining for Zenocrate. 

[The arras is drawn. 

140. stature] statue O3 O4. 

140. stature] There seems to be a in this text. See Parti, iv. ii. 105, 
genuine confusion between ' stat- and note, 
ure ' and ' statue ' (qy. ' statua ' ?) 



Enter the Kings of Trebizond and Soria, one bringing a 
sword and another a sceptre ; next, Natolia, and Jeru- 
salem with the imperial crown ; after, Callapine ; and, 
after him, other Lords and Almeda. Orcanes and 
Jerusalem crown him, and the other give him the sceptre. 

Ore. Callapinus Cyricelibes, otherwise Cybelius, son and 
successive heir to the late mighty emperor Bajazeth, by 
the aid of God and his friend Mahomet, Emperor of 
NatoHa, Jerusalem, Trebizon, Soria, Amasia, Thracia, 
lllyria, Carmonia, and all the hundred and thirty 
kingdoms late contributory to his mighty father, — ^long 
live Callapinus, Emperor of Turkey ! 

Call. Thrice worthy kings of Natolia and the rest, 
I will requite your royal gratitudes 
With all the benefits my empire yields ; lo 

And, were the sinews of th' imperial seat 
So knit and strengthened as when Bajazeth, 
My royal lord and father, filled the throne. 
Whose cursed fate hath so dismembered it, 
Then should you see this thief of Scythia, 
This proud usurping king of Persia, 
Do us such honour and supremacy. 

Act III. Scene i. 
Heading S.D. and Almeda] Add. Dyce. 14. fatel Fates O4. 

Act III Scene i form of the name with contem- 

porary writers is ' C9,ra(iriania ', 
5. Carmonia] The more usual or ' Carmania '. 


220 THE SECOND PART OF [actiii 

Bearing the vengeance of our father's wrongs. 

As all the world should blot our dignities 

Out of the book of base born infamies. 20 

And now I doubt not but your royal cares 

Hath so provided for this cursed foe, 

That, since the heir of mighty Bajazeth 

(An emperor so honoured for his virtues) 

Revives the spirits of true Turkish hearts. 

In grievous memory of his father's shame. 

We shall not need to nourish any doubt, 

But that proud Fortune, who hath followed long 

The martial sword of mighty Tamburlaine, 

Will now retain her old inconstancy, 30 

And raise our honours to as high a pitch. 

In this our strong and fortunate encounter ; 

For so hath heaven provided my escape 

From all the cruelty my soul sustained. 

By this my friendly keeper's happy means. 

That Jove, surcharg'd with pity of our wrongs. 

Will pour it down in showers on our heads, 

Scourging the pride of cursed Tamburlaine. 

Ore. I have a hundred thousand men in arms ; 

Some that, in conquest of the perjur'd Christian, 40 

Being a handful to a mighty host. 

Think them in number yet sufficient 

To drink the river Nile or Euphrates, 

And for their power ynow to win the world. 

Jer. And I as many from Jerusalem, 

25. of] of all Og. 31. honours] honour O3 O4. 40. in] in the Og. 

19. our] Dyce and some later small but victorious host that 

editors would read ' his ', but this defeated Sigismund. 

is not the meaning and Callapine's 45-46. Jerusalem , . . Scalonian's 

words are clear enough. We bounds] Miss Seaton comments 

should so triumph that the world upon this army : ' The king of 

should remove our names from the Jerusalem naturally raises his 

roll of infamy on which Bajazet's [army] from * ludcBa, Gaza and 

fall had caused them to be inscribed. Scalonians bounds ' ; that the town 

40. Some that . . . Christian. of Ascalon appears in the map as 

Orcanes has brought with him the Scalona effectively disposes of the 


Judaea, Gaza, and Scalonian's bounds, 
That on mount Sinai, with their ensigns spread, 
Look like the parti-coloured clouds of heaven 
That show fair weather to the neighbour morn. 

Treh. And I as many bring from Trebizon, 50 

Chio, Famastro, and Amasia, 
All bordering on the Mare-Major sea ; 
Riso, Sancina, and the bordering towns 
That touch the end of famous Euphrates; 
Whose courages are kindled with the flames 
The cursed Scythian sets on all their towns. 
And vow to burn the villain's cruel heart. 

Sor. From Soria with seventy thousand strong, 
Ta'en from Aleppo, Soldino, Tripoly, 
And so unto my city of Damasco, 60 

I march to meet and aid my neighbour kings ; 
All which will join against this Tamburlaine, 
And bring him captive to your highness' feet. 

Ore. Our battle, then, in martial manner pitched. 
According to our ancient use, shall bear 
The figure of the semicircled moon. 
Whose horns shall sprinkle through the tainted air 
The poisoned brains of this proud Scythian. 

Call. Well then, my noble lords, for this my friend 

That freed me from the bondage of my foe, 70 

46. JudcBo] ludea O3 luda O4. Scalonian' s] Sclavonians O4. 

1605 Quarto's absurd change to 58-60. Soria . . . Damasco] ' For 
Sclauonians, apparently a confused the king of Soria, he passes from 
reminiscence of the earher enumera- Aleppo south-westward to the sea- 
tion of Sigismund's composite army coast near Cyprus, and chooses 
of ' Slauonians, Almains, Rutters, Soldino and Tripoli, and so inland 
Muffes, and Danes '. [Marlowe's again to Damasco ; and in pass- 
Ma^, pp. 29-30.) ing it may be said that this 
50-4. from Trebizon . . . Eu- form Damasco, which is that of 
phrates] ' For the king of Trebizond, four out of five of the modern 
Marlowe's finger traces from west maps in the Theatrum, replaces 
to east the northern seaboard of in Part II, except for a single 
Asia Minor : Chia, Famastro, genitive use, the form Damascus, 
Amasia (here the province only), regular in Part I.' {Marlowe's Map, 
Trebisonda, Riso, San/ina.' [Mar- p. 30.) 
lowe's Map, p. 30.) 

222 THE SECOND PART OF [actiii 

I think it requisite and honourable 
To keep my promise and to make him king, 
That is a gentleman, I know, at least. 
Aim. That's no matter, sir, for being a king ; for Tamburlaine 

came up of nothing. 
Jer. Your majesty may choose some 'pointed time, 

i Performing all your promise to the full ; 

(l 'Tis naught for your majesty to give a kingdom. 

I Call. Then will I shortly keep my promise, Almeda. 

I Aim. Why, I thank your majesty. [Exeunt. 80 


Tamburlaine with Usumcasane and his three sons ; four 
bearing the hearse o/Zenocrate, and the drums sounding 
a doleful march; the town burning. 

Tamh. So, burn the turrets of this cursed town, 
Flame to the highest region of the air, 
And kindle heaps of exhalations. 
That, being fiery meteors, may presage 
Death and destruction to th' inhabitants ! 
Over my zenith hang a blazing star. 
That may endure till heaven be dissolv'd. 
Fed with the fresh supply of earthly dregs. 

Scene ii. 
Heading Act III, Scene ii] Actus 2 Scaena 2 O1-4. 

74-5. This bears every mark of a spheres) and will there kindle 

piece of actor's gag. Its prose meteors (not clearly distinguished 

form alone coming in the middle of from comets) whose function is to 

a verse scene would throw sus- presage dire events. Meanwhile 

picion on it. directly over Tamburlaine 's head 

(the zenith is actually the point of 

Scene it. intersection of the circumference of 

2-8. Flame to . . . earthly dregs] the enveloping sphere and the line 

The astronomical and astrological produced from the centre of the 

implications of this passage may earth through a given point upon 

be briefly summed up : The flames the earth's surface) shall hang a 

of the burning town will rise to blazing star which will be kept 

the top of the region of air (here alight by the other fires that he will 

thought to be next to the sphere of light on earth, 
the moon, the innermost of the 


Threatening a death and famine to this land ! 
Flying dragons, lightning, fearful thunder-claps, lo 
Singe these fair plains, and make them seem as black 
As is the island where the Furies mask, 
Compassed with Lethe, Styx, and Phlegethon, 
Because my dear Zenocrate is dead ! 

Caly. This pillar, plac'd in memory of her. 

Where in Arabian, Hebrew, Greek, is writ, 
This town, being burnt by Tamburlaine the Great, 
Forbids the world to build it up again. 

Amy. And here this mournful streamer shall be plac'd, 
Wrought with the Persian and Egyptian arms, 20 
To signify she was a princess born. 
And wife unto the monarch of the East. 

Cel. And here this table as a register 
Of all her virtues and perfections. 

Tamb. And here the picture of Zenocrate, 

To show her beauty which the world admir'd ; 
Sweet picture of divine Zenocrate, 
That, hanging here, will draw the gods from heaven, 
And cause the stars fixed in the southern arc, 

20. and] and the O^- 

9. death] Dyce would have read would be found in his poetry 

' dearth ' for ' death ' of O1-4. generally. 

12-13. the island . . . Phlegethon] 17-18. being] Brereton suggested 
Marlowe has the map of the under- the reading ' was ', but the con- 
world extremely clear in his mind. struction is normal ; the ruins of 
I am unable to find a single source the town itself convey the message 
for all his details : the Island of the and forbid the world to rebuild it. 
Furies, the Triple Moat, the Sty- It is also possible to paraphrase 
gian Snakes and the Invisible ' The fact that this town was burnt 
Furies. Rather, he seems to have by Tamburlaine, forbids . . .' etc. 
drawn what he could from Ovid, 29-32. the stars . . . hemisphere] 
Seneca, Cicero, Virgil and, brooding The southern stars, through their 
upon this, to have evoked a picture desire to see the portrait of Zeno- 
whose vividness sometimes recalls crate, will move into the northern 
the details of Dante. Marlowe, latitudes ; the centre's latitude] the 
whose knowledge of Macchiavelli, equator, the middle line of latitude, 
seems to suggest that he could Marlowe uses hemisphere of any 
read Italian, could, of course, have half of the celestial sphere, as do 
based some of his detail on Dante's many of his contemporaries : mod- 
descriptions, but it is hard to ern English more generally uses it 
believe that, had he read the of one of the divisions made in the 
Divina Comedia, so few traces of it celestial sphere by the ecliptic. 

224 THE SECOND PART OF [actiii 

Whose lovely faces never any viewed 30 

That have not passed the centre's latitude, 

As pilgrims travel to our hemisphere, 

Only to gaze upon Zenocrate. 

Thou shalt not beautify Larissa plains. 

But keep within the circle of mine arms ; 

At every town and castle I besiege. 

Thou shalt be set upon my royal tent ; 

And when I meet an army in the field. 

Those looks will shed such influence in my camp. 

As if Bellona, goddess of the war, 40 

Threw naked swords and sulphur balls of fire 

Upon the heads of all our enemies. 

And now, my lords, advance your spears again ; 

Sorrow no more, my sweet Casane, now : 

Boys, leave to mourn ; this town shall ever mourn, 

Being burnt to cinders for your mother's death. 

Caly. If I had wept a sea of tears for her, 
It would not ease the sorrow I sustain. 

Amy. As is that town, so is my heart consum'd 

With grief and sorrow for my mother's death. 50 

Cel. My mother's death hath mortified my mind, 
And sorrow stops the passage of my speech. 

Tamh. But now, my boys, leave off, and list to me. 
That mean to teach you rudiments of war. 
I'll have you learn to sleep upon the ground, 
March in your armour thorough watery fens, 
Sustain the scorching heat and freezing cold, 
Hunger and thirst, right adjuncts of the war ; 
And, after this, to scale a castle wall, 

39. Those] Dyce etc. whoseO^_^. 48. sorrowl sorrows Og. 56. thorough] 
throwe O^. 58. thirst] cold Oj.g. 

40. Bellona] the Latin goddess of refer to Greek fire or to the primi- 
war appears frequently in classical tive sixteenth-century hand-gren- 
literature. See Ovid, Metam., v. ades described in military text- 
155, Fast., VI. 201 and Virgil, Aen., books such as Paul Ive's Practise 
VIII. 703. of Fortification. 

41. sulphur halls of fire] may here 



Besiege a fort, to undermine a town^ 60 

And make whole cities caper in the air. 

Then next, the way to fortify your men ; 

In champion grounds what figure serves you best, 

For which the quinque-angle form is meet, 

Because the corners there may fall more flat 

Whereas the fort may fittest be assailed, 

And sharpest where th' assault is desperate ; 

The ditches must be deep, the counterscarps 

Narrow and steep, the walls made high and broad, 

The bulwarks and the rampiers large and strong, 70 

With cavalieros and thick counterforts, 

And room within to lodge six thousand men. 

It must have privy ditches, countermines, 

And secret issuings to defend the ditch ; 

It must have high argins and covered ways 

64. which] Rob. etc. 
68. the] and O3 O4. 

with Oi_4. 67. th' assault] the assault O3 O4. 

62 seq. the way to fortify, etc.] 
For the connection of this lengthy- 
excursus upon tactics and its con- 
nection with Paul Ive's Practise of 
Fortification, see Introduction, p. 45. 

63. champion] see I, 11. ii. 40, 
and note. 

64. the quinque-angle form] This 
fort is in the shape of a five-pointed 
star, and, as Marlowe regards it, 
presents the pointed angles at a 
greater distance from the inner 
fortifications (' where th' assault 
is desperate ', i.e. for the assailers) 
and the blunt angles, easier to 
defend, where the assault is most 
likely to be made. M. Danchin 
suggests that Marlowe has mis- 
understood Paul Ive's account of 
the ' quinque angle ' fort. But I 
think rather that by ' meet ' he 
means that it is both defensible and 
quick and economical to build. See 
Introduction, p. 45. 

68. counterscarps] The walls of the 
ditch facing the fort. Cunningham 
adds the comment, ' I cannot under- 
stand the advantage of (their) 
being narrow.' 

70. bulwarks . . . rampiers] are 
earthworks or defences of some 
similar material used in fortifica- 
tion, the rampiers (ramparts) in 
particular being wide enough at 
the top for roads, sometimes pro- 
tected by parapets, to run along 

71. cavalieros] See 11. iv. 103, and 
note, counterforts] The N.E.D. 
quotes this passage and defines : 
' A buttress or projecting piece of 
masonry to support and strengthen 
a wall or terrace.' 

73-4. These two lines are almost 
a word-for-word reproduction of 
Paul Ive's account of fortification : 
' It must also have countermines, 
privie ditches, secret issuinges 
out to defend the ditch.' 

75. argins . . . covered^ways] Cun- 
ningham explains an argin as an 
earthwork and adds that it ' here 
must mean the particular earth- 
work called the glacis ' . The cov- 
ered way is ' the protected road 
between the argin and the coun- 
terscarp '. 

226 THE SECOND PART OF [actiii 

To keep the bulwark fronts from battery, 

And parapets to hide the musketeers, 

Casemates to place the great artillery, 

And store of ordnance, that from every flank 

May scour the outward curtains of the fort, 80 

Dismount the cannon of the adverse part, 

Murder the foe and save the walls from breach. 

When this is learn'd for service on the land. 

By plain and easy demonstration 

I'll teach you how to make the water mount. 

That you may dry-foot march through lakes and pools, 

Deep rivers, havens, creeks, and little seas. 

And make a fortress in the raging waves, 

Fenc'd with the concave of a monstrous rock, 

Invincible by nature of the place. 90 

When this is done, then are ye soldiers, 

And worthy sons of Tamburlaine the Great. 

Caly. My lord, but this is dangerous to be done ; 
We may be slain or wounded ere we learn. 

Tamb. Villain, art thou the son of Tamburlaine, 
And fear'st to die, or with a curtle-axe 
To hew thy flesh, and make a gaping wound ? 
Hast thou beheld a peal of ordnance strike 
A ring of pikes, mingled with shot and horse. 
Whose shattered limbs, being tossed as high as heaven, 
Hang in the air as thick as sunny motes, loi 

yS. great] greatst O^. go . by] by the O ^^ gi. ye] you O^O^. g6.a]the02- 

78. Casemates] The N.E.D. de- line presents some difficulty. As it 
fines ' casemate 'as, 'A vaulted stands it may be paraphrased, ' A 
chamber built in the thickness of ring of soldiers armed with pikes 
the ramparts of a fortress, with and mingled with artillery and 
embrasures for the defence of the cavalry ', which does not suggest a 
place, and quotes Paul Ive : ' any wise military disposition. Cun- 
. . . edifice that may be made ningham, whose word on military 
in the ditch to defend the ditch matters should at least be con- 
by '. sidered, emends to ' A ring of 

80. curtains of the fort] the walls pikes, of mingled foot and horse ', 

joining two bastions or towers while Mitford conjectures ' A ring 

together, of pikes and horse, mangled with 

99. A ring . . . and horse] This shot '. 


And canst thou, coward, stand in fear of death ? 
Hast thou not seen my horsemen charge the foe. 
Shot through the arms, cut overthwart the hands, 
Djdng their lances with their streaming blood. 
And yet at night carouse within my tent, 
Filling their empty veins with airy wine. 
That, being concocted, turns to crimson blood, 
And wilt thou shun the field for fear of wounds ? 
View me, thy father, that hath conquered kings, no 
And with his host marched round about the earth, 
Quite void of scars and clear from any wound. 
That by the wars lost not a dram of blood. 
And see him lance his flesh to teach you all. 

[He cuts his arm. 
A wound is nothing, be it ne'er so deep ; 
Blood is the god of war's rich livery. 
Now look I like a soldier, and this wound 
As great a grace and majesty to me, 
As if a chair of gold enamelled, 

Enchas'd with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, 120 

And fairest pearl of wealthy India, 
Were mounted here under a canopy. 
And I sat down, cloth'd with the massy robe 
That late adorn'd the Afric potentate. 
Whom I brought bound unto Damascus' walls. 
Come, boys, and with your fingers search my wound, 
And in my blood wash all your hands at once. 
While I sit smiling to behold the sight. 
Now, my boys, what think you of a wound ? 

Caly. I know not what I should think of it ; methinks 'tis 
a pitiful sight. 131 

Cel. 'Tis nothing Give me a wound, father. 

III. hisi this O3 O4. marched] martch Oj Og. 113. dram] drop O^- 
123. the] a 02-4. 129. you] ye O^- 

124-5. ^^^ Afric potentate] Baja- ing Tamburlaine's siege of Dam- 
zet, so called by virtue of his African ascus (I, v. ii). 
conquests, who killed himself dur- 

228 THE SECOND PART OF [actiii 

Amy. And me another, my lord. 

Tamh. Come, sirrah, give me your arm. 

Cel. Here, father, cut it bravely, as you did your own. 

Tamh. It shall suffice thou darst abide a wound ; 
My boy, thou shalt not lose a drop of blood 
Before we meet the army of the Turk ; 
But then run desperate through the thickest throngs, 
Dreadless of blows, of bloody wounds and death ; 140 
And let the burning of Larissa walls. 
My speech of war, and this my wound you see, 
Teach you, my boys, to bear courageous minds, 
Fit for the followers of great Tamburlaine. 
Usumcasane, now come, let us march 
Towards Techelles and Theridamas, 
That we have sent before to fire the towns, 
The towers and cities of these hateful Turks, 
And hunt that coward faint-heart runaway, 
With that accursed traitor Almeda, 150 

Till fire and sword have found them at a bay. 

Usum. I long to pierce his bowels with my sword. 
That hath betrayed my gracious sovereign. 
That cursed and damned traitor Almeda. 

Tamh. Then let us see if coward Callapine 
Dare levy arms against our puissance, 
That we may tread upon his captive neck, 
And treble all his father's slaveries. [Exeunt. 


Techelles, Theridamas, and their train. 
Ther. Thus have we marched northward from Tamburlaine, 

147. the towns] Townes O3. 150. accursed] cursed Og. 152. his] the Og. 

Act III. Scene in. 
Heading Scene Hi] Scaena 1 O^-^. 

Scene Hi. Balsera] ' Northward ', says Cun- 

1-3. Thus have we marched . . . ningham, ' should no doubt be 


Unto the frontier point of Soria ; 
And this is Balsera, their chiefest hold, 
Wherein is all the treasure of the land. 
Tech. Then let us bring our light artillery. 

Minions, falc'nets, and sakers, to the trench. 
Filling the ditches with the walls' wide breach. 
And enter in to seize upon the gold. 
How say ye, soldiers, shall we not ? 
Soldiers. Yes, my lord, yes ; come, let's about it. lo 

Ther. But stay a while ; summon a parle, drum. 
It may be they will yield it quietly, 
Knowing two kings, the friends to Tamburlaine, 
Stand at the walls with such a mighty power. 

{Summon the battle. Captain with his wife and son. 

Capt. What require you, my masters ? 
Ther. Captain, that thou yield up thy hold to us. 
Capt. To you ! why, do you think me weary of it ? 
Tech. Nay, captain, thou art weary of thy life. 
If thou withstand the friends of Tamburlaine. 

2. point] port O3 O4. 9. soldiers] souldious O3. 12. quietly] quickely 
O4. 13. friends] friend O^ Og- 17. do you] do thou Og. 

southward. It would not be easy as will be shown, Marlowe often 

to march northward to Bassorah.' makes just such a choice. More- 

But Marlowe's accuracy is again over, this particular episode is a 

vindicated by Miss Seaton : ' We patchwork of borrowed scraps, and 

have seen once already that Mar- it seems to be his practice to 

lowe can be trusted in his points of situate his invented episodes in 

the compass ; if, before emending places unimpeachable by their 

to southward, we take him on very obscurity.' {Marlowe's Map, 

trust here, we must assume that the p. 24.) 

unknown town is on the northern 6. Minions, falc'nets, and sakers] 

or Natolian frontier of Soria, for All ' small pieces of ordinance ', 

the column has started from Larissa as Robinson remarks. The dis- 

on the southern frontier. Ortelius tinctions between them are hardly 

can help us out with a suggestion. relevant here, but the terms serve 

In the map of Natolia, especially to show Marlowe's temporary pre- 

noticeable in the coloured copies occupation with military tech- 

as a frontier point, is the town nicalities. 

Passera, with the first ' s ' long. 8. gold] The reading of the 

This may well be Marlowe's Bal- octavos, followed by Robinson, 

sera. The objection occurs that Cunningham, and Bullen. There 

the arbitrary choice of an insigni- seems little need to emend to ' hold ' 

ficant town is not probable, but, with Dyce and Wagner. 

230 THE SECOND PART OF [actiii 

Ther. These pioners of Argier in Africa, 20 

Even in the cannon's face, shall raise a hill 
Of earth and faggots higher than thy fort, 
And, over thy argins and covered ways. 
Shall play upon the bulwarks of thy hold 
Volleys of ordinance, till the breach be made 
That with his ruin fills up all the trench ; 
And, when we enter in, not heaven itself 
Shall ransom thee, thy wife and family. 

Tech. Captain, these Moors shall cut the leaden pipes 
That bring fresh water to thy men and thee. 30 

And lie in trench before thy castle walls, 
That no supply of victual shall come in. 
Nor [any] issue forth but they shall die ; 
And therefore, captain, yield it quietly. 

Capt. Were you, that are the friends of Tamburlaine, 
Brothers to holy Mahomet himself, 
I would not yield it ; therefore do your worst : 
Raise mounts, batter, intrench and undermine, 
Cut off the water, all convoys that can. 
Yet I am resolute : and so, farewell. [Exeunt. 40 

Ther. Pioners, away ! and where I stuck the stake. 
Intrench with those dimensions I prescribed ; 
Cast up the earth towards the castle wall. 
Which till it may defend you, labour low, 
And few or none shall perish by their shot. 

Pioners, We will, my lord. [Exeunt. 

Tech. A hundred horse shall scout about the plains, 

21. iYi] to O4. 33. any] Add. Rob. om. 0],_4. 34. quietly] quick ely 1^. 
35. you, that are the] all you that are the O3 all you that are O4. 36. to] 
of Og. 40. / am] am I O4. S.D.] Add. Rob. etc. 

20-6. These pioners . . . all the 25. ordinance] The original spell - 

trench] The siege methods here ing has been retained instead of the 
described are approximately those modern ' ordnance ' as alteration 
by which Tamburlaine, according here would have affected the move- 
to several accounts, subdued the ment of the line, 
citadel of Damascus. For one of 
the briefer of these accounts, see 
Fortescue (Appendix C). 


To spy what force comes to relieve the hold. 

Both v;^e, Theridamas, will intrench our men, 

And with the Jacob's staff measure the height 50 

And distance of the castle from the trench, 

That we may know if our artillery 

Will carry full point blank unto their walls. 

Ther. Then see the bringing of our ordinance 
Along the trench into the battery. 
Where we will have gabions of six foot broad. 
To save our cannoneers from musket shot ; 
Betwixt which shall our ordinance thunder forth, 
And with the breach's fall, smoke, fire and dust. 
The crack, the echo and the soldiers' cry, 60 

Make deaf the air and dim the crystal sky. 

Tech. Trumpets and drums, alarum presently ! 

And, soldiers, play the men ; the hold is yours ! 



Enter the Captain, with his Wife and Son 

Olym. Come, good my lord, and let us haste from hence. 
Along the cave that leads beyond the foe ; 
No hope is left to save this conquered hold. 
Capt. A deadly bullet gliding through my side, 

55. into] unto O4. 56. gabions] Broughton etc. Galions O^ galions Og 
Gallions O3 O4. 63. hold] holds O^ Og. S.D.] Add. Rob. etc. 

Scene iv. 
Heading. Scene iv.] Add. Wag. S.D. Enter the] Enter O3 O4. 

50. the Jacob's staff] An instru- or cannon-baskets, are great bas- 

ment, then recently invented, by kets, which, being filled with earth, 

which heights and distances could are placed upon the batteries,' the 

be measured. rough equivalent of sand-bags. 

56. gabions] The conjecture 

offered by Broughton, Colher, Cun- Scene iv. 

ningham, etc. seems unavoidable On the relation between this 

here ; the consistent ' galions ' of episode and Ariosto's story of 

the octavos appears meaningless. Isabella {Orlando Furioso, xxviii, 

Cunningham explains : ' Gabions, xxix) see Introduction, pp. 44-5. 

232 THE SECOND PART OF [act m 

Lies heavy on my heart ; I cannot live. 

I feel my liver pierc'd and all my veins, 

That there begin and nourish every part, 

Mangled and torn, and all my entrails bath'd 

In blood that straineth from their orifex. 

Farewell, sweet wife ! sweet son, farewell ! I die. lo 

Olym. Death, whither art thou gone, that both we live ? 
Come back again, sweet death, and strike us both ! 
One minute end our days, and one sepulchre 
Contain our bodies ! Death, why com'st thou not ? 
Well, this must be the messenger for thee. 
Now, ugly death, stretch out thy sable wings. 
And carry both our souls where his remains. 
Tell me, sweet boy, art thou content to die ? 
These barbarous Scythians, full of cruelty, 
And Moors, in whom was never pity found, 20 

Will hew us piecemeal, put us to the wheel, 
Or else invent some torture worse than that ; 
Therefore die by thy loving mother's hand, 
Who gently now will lance thy ivory throat. 
And quickly rid thee both of pain and life. 

Son. Mother, despatch me, or I'll kill myself ; 
For think you I can live and see him dead ? 
Give me your knife, good mother, or strike home ; 
The Scythians shall not tyrannise on me : 
Sweet mother, strike, that I may meet my father. 30 

[She stabs him. 

Olym. Ah, sacred Mahomet, if this be sin. 
Entreat a pardon of the God of heaven. 
And purge my soul before it come to thee ! 

Enter Theridamas, Techelles, and all their train. 

Ther. How now. Madam ! what are you doing ? 

9 straineth] staineth Og. 

6-9. For Marlowe's idea of 9. orifex] an erroneous form of 

human physiology, compare I, ' orifice ', occurring also in Shake- 
IV. iv. 96-100, and note. speare. Ci. Tr. and Cress. , v. ii. 151. 


Olym. Killing myself, as I have done my son, 
Whose body, with his father's, I have burnt, 
Lest cruel Scythians should dismember him. 

Tech. Twas bravely done, and like a soldier's wife. 
Thou shalt with us to Tamburlaine the Great, 
Who, when he hears how resolute thou wert, 40 

Will match thee with a viceroy or a king. 

Olym. My lord deceased was dearer unto me 
Than any viceroy, king, or emperor ; 
And for his sake here will I end my days. 

Ther. But, lady, go with us to Tamburlaine, 

And thou shalt see a man greater than Mahomet, 

In whose high looks is much more majesty. 

Than from the concave superficies 

Of Jove's vast palace, the imperial orb. 

Unto the shining bower where Cynthia sits, 50 

Like lovely Thetis, in a crystal robe ; 

That treadeth fortune underneath his feet. 

And makes the mighty god of arms his slave ; 

On whom death and the fatal sisters wait 

With naked swords and scarlet liveries ; 

Before whom, mounted on a lion's back, 

Rhamnusia bears a helmet full of blood. 

And strows the way with brains of slaughtered men ; 

By whose proud side the ugly furies run, 

Hearkening when he shall bid them plague the world ; 60 

Over whose zenith, cloth'd in windy air. 

And eagle's wings join'd to her feathered breast, 

40. wertl art O4. 62. join'd] inioin'd Og. 

47-51. In whose high looks . . . 49. imperial] see I, iv. iv. 30, and 

robe] In Tamburlaine's looks there note. 

dwells more majesty than is to be 57. Rhamnusia] Nemesis, called 
found throughout the heavens, Rhamnusia Dea (Virgo), from her 
from the hollow roof of Jove's temple at Rhamnus in Attica. See 
palace to the shining bower where also I, 11. iii. 37. 
the moon sits veiled in a crystal 61. ^em/A] crest or head, a mean- 
robe like Thetis the ocean god- ing which is already approached 
dess. in iii. ii. 6, above. 

234 THE SECOND PART OF [act m 

Fame hovereth, sounding of her golden trump, 
That to the adverse poles of that straight line 
Which measureth the glorious frame of heaven 
The name of mighty Tamburlaine is spread ; 
And him, fair, lady, shall thy eyes behold. 

Olym. Take pity of a lady's ruthful tears, 

That humbly craves upon her knees to stay, 70 

And cast her body in the burning flame 
That feeds upon her son's and husband's flesh. 

Tech. Madam, sooner shall fire consume us both 
Than scorch a face so beautiful as this. 
In frame of which nature hath show'd more skill 
Than when she gave eternal chaos form. 
Drawing from it the shining lamps of heaven. 

Ther. Madam, I am so far in love with you. 
That you must go with us : no remedy. 

Olym. Then carry me, I care not, where you will, 80 

And let the end of this my fatal journey 
Be likewise end to my accursed life. 

Tech. No, madam, but the beginning of your joy : 
Come willingly, therefore. 

Ther. Soldiers, now let us meet the general. 
Who by this time is at Natolia, 
Ready to charge the army of the Turk. 
The gold, the silver, and the pearl ye got. 
Rifling this fort, divide in equal shares : 
This lady shall have twice so much again 90 

Out of the coffers of our treasury. [Exeunt. 

63. Fame] Fume O3 O4. of] in O4. 86. time] times O3. 88. the silver] 
and silver O^. 

64-5. the adverse poles . . . frame 
of heaven] the celestial diameter. 

sc. v] 




Callapine, Orcanes, Jerusalem, Trebizon, Soria, 
Almeda, with their train. 

Mess. Renowmed emperor, mighty Callapine, 
God's great lieutenant over all the world, 
Here at Aleppo, with an host of men. 
Lies Tamburlaine, this king of Persia, 
In number more than are the quivering leaves 
Of Ida's forest, where your highness' hounds 
With open cry pursues the wounded stag, 
Who means to girt Natolia's walls with siege, 
Fire the town and over-run the land. 

Call. My royal army is as great as his, 


I. mighty] and mighty O4. 

Scene v. 
5. than] then O 

3 O4. 

Scene v. 

On the site of the battle between 
Tamburlaine and Callapine, Miss 
Seaton comments as follows : ' For 
the first time Ortelius affords no 
help ; Marlowe seems, like a mis- 
chievous " hare ", to have suc- 
ceeded in putting us off the scent. 
He has done two things to confuse : 
he speaks of Natolia as if it were a 
town ; then he introduces for the 
site of his battle Asphaltis,' [see 
IV. iii. 5] ' a place apparently not 
known to classical or modern 

' Yet there is a clue left. Twice, 
and with some emphasis, does the 
Sultan Callapine refer boastfully 
to the coming conflict as " the 
Perseans' sepulchre ". To any 
classical student poring over this 
cockpit of the world, remembrance 
would inevitably come of other 
campaigns, other conquerors, and 
of these the greatest is that 
" Chief e spectacle of the world's 
preheminence ", Alexander the 
Great, the most familiar of all 
ancient worthies to the Eliza- 
bethan. . . . The bituminous na- 
ture of the Euphrates basin is a 

commonplace of cosmography and 
of the history of Alexander's cam- 
paign. Plutarch's life of the con- 
queror describes his naive surprise 
and still more naive experiment, 
when, after leaving Arbela, he 
first saw what Tennyson has called 
" the Memmian naphtha-pits ". 
Marlowe, like Hakluyt, might have 
heard the contemporary testimony 
of the merchant, John Eldred, who 
journeyed from Babylon to Aleppo 
in 1583, and heard the many 
" springs of tarre " blowing and 
puffing like a smith's forge.' 
[Marlowe's Map, p. 26.) 

3. Aleppo] ' Again the scenes are 
strictly linked. . . . That " Here " 
is a splendid southward gesture, 
telling whence the messenger has 
come hot-foot, for the enemy is at 
his heels and enters upon this very 
scene. The Turks themselves are 
" in Natolia ", and on its eastern 
confines, for the snake-like trail 
of their army covers the land . . . 

" from the bounds of Phrygia to 
the Sea 
" Which washeth Cyprus with his 
brinish waves." ' 

236 THE SECOND PART OF [act m 

That, from the bounds of Phrygia to the sea 

Which washeth Cyprus with his brinish waves, 

Covers the hills, the valleys and the plains. 

Viceroys and peers of Turkey, play the men ; 

Whet all your swords to mangle Tamburlaine, 

His sons, his captains, and his followers : 

By Mahomet, not one of them shall live ! 

The field wherein this battle shall be fought 

For ever term the Persians' sepulchre. 

In memory of this our victory. 20 

Ore. Now he that calls himself the scourge of Jove, 
The emperor of the world, and earthly god. 
Shall end the warlike progress he intends, 
And travel headlong to the lake of hell. 
Where legions of devils, knowing he must die 
Here in Natolia by your highness' hands, 
All brandishing their brands of quenchless fire. 
Stretching their monstrous paws, grin with their teeth, 
And guard the gates to entertain his soul. 

Call. Tell me, viceroys, the number of your men, 30 

And what our army royal is esteem'd. 

Jer. From Palestina and Jerusalem, 

Of Hebrews three score thousand fighting men 
Are come, since last we showed your majesty. 

Ore. So from Arabia Desert, and the bounds 
Of that sweet land whose brave metropolis 
Re-edified the fair Semiramis, 
Came forty thousand warlike foot and horse. 
Since last we numbered to your majesty. 

Treb. From Trebizon in Asia the Less, 40 

15. your'] our O^. 21. the] om.O 2- 26. your] our O^. 27. their] in their 
Og- 28. with]om.02- 34. your] to your O4. 

19. the Persians' sepulchre] See 36-7. that sweet land . . . Semir- 

note above on the scene generally. amis] Babylon, the centre of the 

28. paws] the reading of the Babylonian empire, was commonly 

octavos ; Cunningham conjectured believed to have been rebuilt by 

' jaws ', but the alteration seems Semiramis, wife of Ninus. (See 

unnecessary. II, v. i. 73, and note.) 


Naturalized Turks and stout Bithynians 
Came to my bands, full fifty thousand more, 
That, fighting, know not what retreat doth mean. 
Nor e'er return but with the victory. 
Since last we numbered to your majesty. 

Sor. Of Sorians from Halla is repaired. 

And neighbour cities of your highness' land. 

Ten thousand horse, and thirty thousand foot, 

Since last we numbered to your majesty ; 

So that the army royal is esteem'd 50 

Six hundred thousand valiant fighting men. 

Call. Then welcome, Tamburlaine, unto thy death ! 
Come, puissant viceroys, let us to the field, 
The Persians' sepulchre, and sacrifice 
Mountains of breathless men to Mahomet, 
Who now, with Jove, opens the firmament 
To see the slaughter of our enemies. 

Tamburlaine with his three sons, Usumcasane, with other. 

Tamh. How now, Casane ! see, a knot of kings. 

Sitting as if they were a-telling riddles. 
Usum. My lord, your presence makes them pale and wan : 

Poor souls, they look as if their deaths were near. 
Tamh. Why, so he is, Casane ; I am here. 62 

But yet I'll save their lives and make them slaves. 

Ye petty kings of Turkey, I am come, 

As Hector did into the Grecian camp, 

46. repair' d] prepar'd O4. 47. om. O4. 57. Heading Actus 2, Scaena i 
Oi Actus 2 Scaena 2 O2 Actus 4 Scena i O3 O4. S.D. other'] others O^,- 
62. he] it O4. 

46. Halla] Miss Seaton remarks, 54-5- sacrifice . . . to Mahomet] 

' might well be thought to be one Again, the mingling of the Ma- 

of the many variants of Aleppo hometan and classical universe. 

(Alepo, Halep, Aleb), but it ap- 65-8. As Hector . . . of his fame] 

pears in the map of the world For this episode, we look in vain 

[Ortelius] as a separate town to in the Iliad. It belongs to the 

the south-east of Aleppo.' {Mar- post-Homeric Troy tale. It might 

lowe's Map, p. 30.) well be familiar to Marlowe from 

54. The Persians' sepulchre] See any one of several repetitions of 

note on 1. i, above. the Trojan story, such as Lyd- 

238 THE SECOND PART OF [actiii 

To overdare the pride of Graecia, 

And set his warlike person to the view 

Of fierce Achilles, rival of his fame. 

I do you honour in the simile ; 

For if I should, as Hector did Achilles, 70 

(The worthiest knight that ever brandished sword,) 

Challenge in combat any of you all, 

I see how fearfully ye would refuse. 

And fly my glove as from a scorpion. 

Ore. Now, thou art fearful of thy army's strength. 
Thou wouldst with overmatch of person fight : 
But, shepherd's issue, base born Tamburlaine, 
Think of thy end ; this sword shall lance thy throat. 

Tamh. Villain, the shepherd's issue, at whose birth 

Heaven did afford a gracious aspect, 80 

And join'd those stars that shall be opposite 

Even till the dissolution of the world. 

And never meant to make a conqueror 

So famous as is mighty Tamburlaine, 

Shall so torment thee and that Callapine, 

That, like a roguish runaway, suborn'd 

That villain there, that slave, that Turkish dog, 

To false his service to his sovereign, 

As ye shall curse the birth of Tamburlaine. 

Call. Rail not, proud Scythian : I shall now revenge 90 
My father's vile abuses and mine own. 

Jer. By Mahomet, he shall be tied in chains, 
Rowing with Christians in a brigandine 
About the Grecian isles to rob and spoil, 

77. shepherd's] Sepheard O3. 84. is] the O4. 

gate's Troy Book, in which (Bk. (the positions of the stars) was more 

III, 11. 3755 seq.) it is treated at favourable at Tamburlaine's birth 

length. than it would ever be again, stars 

80—2. Heaven did afford . . . the coming into conjunction then that 

world] According to medieval as- would, for the rest of time, be in 

trological theory, the temperament opposition, 

of a man was determined by the 88. false] betray, 

relations of the stars at the moment 93. brigandine] See II, i. v. 11, 

of his birth. The aspect of heaven and note. 


And turn him to his ancient trade again ; 
Methinks the slave should make a lusty thief. 

Call. Nay, when the battle ends, all we will meet. 
And sit in council to invent some pain 
That most may vex his body and his soul. 

Tamb. Sirrah Callapine, I'll hang a clog about your neck for 
running away again ; you shall not trouble me thus to 
come and fetch you. 102 

But as for you, viceroy, you shall have bits. 
And, harnessed like my horses, draw my coach ; 
And, when ye stay, be lashed with whips of wire ; 
ril have you learn to feed on provender. 
And in a stable lie upon the planks. 

Ore. But, Tamburlaine, first thou shalt kneel to us. 
And humbly crave a pardon for thy life. 

Treh. The common soldiers of our mighty host no 

Shall bring thee bound unto the general's tent. 

Sor. And all have jointly sworn thy cruel death. 
Or bind thee in eternal torments' wrath. 

Tamb. Well, sirs, diet yourselves ; you know I shall have 
occasion shortly to journey you. 

Cel. See, father, how Almeda the jailor looks upon us ! 

Tamb. Villain, traitor, damned fugitive, 

I'll make thee wish the earth had swallowed thee ! 
Seest thou not death within my wrathful looks ? 
Go, villain, cast thee headlong from a rock, 120 

Or rip thy bowels, and rend out thy heart, 
T' appease my wrath ; or else I'll torture thee, 
Searing thy hateful flesh with burning irons 
And drops of scalding lead, while all thy joints 
Be racked and beat asunder with the wheel ; 

104. harnessed^} harnesse O3 O4. 106. on] with O2. 108. thou shalt] 
shalt thou O4. III. the] our O3 O4. 121. and rend] and rent Og or rend 

100-2. Sirrah ... fetch you] The other abbreviation of Tambur- 
prose lines here and at 11. 1 14-15 laine's address to Callapine and the 
perhaps represent a paraphrase or allies. 

240 THE SECOND PART OF [actiii 

For, if thou livest, not any element 

Shall shroud thee from the wrath of Tamburlaine. 

Call. Well in despite of thee, he shall be king. 
Come, Almeda ; receive this crown of me : 
I here invest thee king of Ariadan, 130 

Bordering on Mare Roso, near to Mecca. 

Ore. What ! take it, man. 

Aim. Good my lord, let me take it. 

Call. Dost thou ask him leave ? here ; take it. 

Tamb. Go to, sirrah ! take your crown, and make up the 
half dozen. So, sirrah, now you are a king, you must 
give arms. 

Ore. So he shall, and wear thy head in his scutcheon. 

Tamb. No ; let him hang a bunch of keys on his standard, 
to put him in remembrance he was a jailor, that, when 
I take him, I may knock out his brains with them, and 
lock you in the stable, when you shall come sweating 
from my chariot. 143 

Treb. Away ! let us to the field, that the villain may be 

Tamb. Sirrah, prepare whips, and bring my chariot to my 
tent ; for, as soon as the battle is done, I'll ride in 
triumph through the camp. 

Enter Theridamas, Techelles, and their train. 

How now, ye petty kings ? lo, here are bugs 

Will make the hair stand upright on your heads, 150 

135. Go to sirrah] Go too sirha O^ Og Goe to sirrha O3 Goe sirrha O4. 
139. No'] Go O2. 

1 30-1. Ariadan . . . Mecca] ' This Tamburlaine and many editors 

exactly describes the position in indicate it by a stage direction, 

the map of Africa of this unim- 136-7. you must give arms] The 

portant town that Marlowe ar- pun, in this dubious prose passage, 

bitrarily selected ; it appears again is not uncommon. It is best known 

in Turcicum Imperium, but rrmch in the words of the gravedigger 

less conspicuous, and the sea there {Hamlet, v. i. 37 seq.) : ' Is he a 

is not called Mar Rosso ' (Seaton, gentleman ? A' was the first that 

p. 28). ever bore arms.' 

133. Good my lord, let me take it] 149. bugs] bugbears. 
This line is obviously addressed to 


And cast your crowns in slavery at their feet. 
Welcome, Theridamas and Techelles, both : 
See ye this rout, and know ye this same king ? 

Ther. Ay, my lord ; he was Callapine's keeper. 

Tamh. Well now you see he is a king. Look to him, Theri- 
damas, when we are fighting, lest he hide his crown as 
the foolish king of Persia did. 

Sor. No, Tamburlaine ; he shall not be put to that exigent, 
I warrant thee. 

Tamh. You know not, sir. i6o 

But now, my followers and my loving friends, 
Fight as you ever did, like conquerors, 
The glory of this happy day is yours. 
My stern aspect shall make fair Victory, 
Hovering betwixt our armies, light on me, 
Loaden with laurel wreaths to crown us all. 

Tech. I smile to think how, when this field is fought 
And rich Natolia ours, our men shall sweat 
With carrying pearl and treasure on their backs. 

Tamh. You shall be princes all, immediately. 170 

Come, fight, ye Turks, or yield us victory. 

Ore. No ; we will meet thee, slavish Tamburlaine. 


1^^. know ye] know you 0:^0^. 155. you] ye 02- i6/^. aspect] aspects O^. 
166. Loaden] Laden O3 O4. 

156-7. lest he hide . . . Persia with its prose form, throws sus- 

did] This reference to I, 11. iv. reads picion on this speech and, no less, 

like actor's gag — a happy refer- on parts of the episode alluded 

ence to a popular episode in the to. See notes to I, 11. iv. 
earlier play. That fact, combined 




Alarm. Amyras and Celebinus issues from the tent where 

Calyphas sits asleep. 

Amy. Now in their glories shine the golden crowns 
Of these proud Turks, much like so many suns 
That half dismay the majesty of heaven. 
Now, brother, follow we our father's sword. 
That flies with fury swifter than our thoughts, 
And cuts down armies with his conquering wings. 

Cel. Call forth our lazy brother from the tent, 
For, if my father miss him in the field, 
Wrath, kindled in the furnace of his breast, 
Will send a deadly lightning to his heart. lo 

Amy. Brother, ho ! what, given so much to sleep. 
You cannot leave it, when our enemies' drums 
And rattling cannons thunder in our ears 
Our proper ruin and our father's foil ? 

Caly. Away, ye fools ! my father needs not me. 

Nor you, in faith, but that you will be thought 

Act IV. Scene i. 
I. Prefix Amy.] Add Dyce om. O^ 4. 6. conquering wings'] conquerings 
wings Oi- 7. lazy] laize O3. 12. You cannot] Can you not O4. 

Act iv. Scene i. some fierce bird of unknown 
6. conquering wings] Wagner genealogy ; certainly Elizabethan 
would read ' conquering swings ' syntax admits of ' father ' as the 
(after the ' conquerings wings ' of subject of ' that '. 
Oi), applying the phrase to the 14. proper] as often, in the six- 
sword of Tamburlaine. The meta- teenth century, has here the 
phor is perhaps somewhat cloudy, sense of own ; it is nearer in 
but it is not hard to imagine meaning to the Latin ' proprius ' 
Tamburlaine rushing forward like than the modern usage. 



More childish valour ous than manly wise. 

If half our camp should sit and sleep with me. 

My father were enough to scare the foe ; 

You do dishonour to his majesty, 20 

To think our helps will do him any good. 

Amy. What, dar'st thou, then, be absent from the fight 
Knowing my father hates thy cowardice. 
And oft hath warn'd thee to be still in field. 
When he himself amidst the thickest troops 
Beats down our foes, to flesh our taintless swords ? 

Caly^l know, sir, what it is to kill a man ; 

. . I It works remorse of conscience in me. 
Jf I take no pleasure to be murderous, 

/ Nor care for blood when wine will quench my thirst. 30 

Cef. O cowardly boy ! fie, for shame, come forth ! 
Thou dost dishonour manhood and thy house. 

Caly. Go, go, tall stripling, fight you for us both ; 
And take my other toward brother here. 
For person like to prove a second Mars ; 
'Twill please my mind as well to hear both you 
Have won a heap of honour in the field. 
And left your slender carcasses behind. 
As if I lay with you for company. 

Amy, You will not go then ? 40 

Caly. You say true. 

Amy. Were all the lofty mounts of Zona Mundi 
That fill the midst of farthest Tartary 

24. warn'd] wnrn'd O3. 36. both you] you both O4. 

33. ^a//] here has its usual mean- blade, a very tall man."' {Rom. 

ing, ' valiant ' or ' bold ', with per- and Jul., 11. iv.) 
haps a touch of cynicism in Caly- 34. toward] promising, 

phas's choice of the popular and 42-3. Zona Mundi . . . Tartary] 

almost vulgarized word. Bullen ' In Europe and Russia, the range 

draws attention to Mercutio's com- of Zona mundi montes, or Orbis 

ment, which perhaps throws light Zona montes, runs southwards 

upon Marlowe's use : ' The pox of through northernmost Tartary from 

such antic, lisping, affecting fan- the coast near Waygatz and 

tasticoes, these new tuners of Petsora, in the coloured maps 

accents ! " By Jesu a very good most obviously " farthest Tar- 
tary ".' [Marlowe's Map, p. 28.) 

244 THE SECOND PART OF [activ 

Turn'd into pearl and proffered for my stay, 
I would not bide the fury of my father, 
When, made a victor in these haughty arms. 
He comes and finds his sons have had no shares 
In all the honours he proposed for us. 
Caly. Take you the honour, I will take my ease ; 

My wisdom shall excuse my cowardice. 50 

I go into the field before I need ! 

[Alarm, and Amy r as and Celehinus run in. 
The bullets fly at random where they list ; 
And should I go and kill a thousand men, 
I were as soon rewarded with a shot. 
And sooner far than he that never fights ; 
And should I go and do nor harm nor good, 
I might have harm, which all the good I have, 
Join'd with my father's crown, would never cure, 
ril to cards. — Perdicas ! 

Enter Perdicas. 

Perd. Here, my lord. 60 

Caly. Come, thou and I will go to cards to drive away the 

Perd. Content, my lord : but what shall we play for ? 

Caly. Who shall kiss the fairest of the Turks' concubines 
first, when my father hath conquered them. 

Perd. Agreed, i'faith. [They play. 

Caly. They say I am a coward, Perdicas, and I fear as little 
their taratantaras, their swords or their cannons as I do 
a naked lady in a net of gold, and, for fear I should be 
afraid, would put it off and come to bed with me. 70 

Perd. Such a fear, my lord, would never make ye retire. 

Caly. I would my father would let me be put in the front of 
such a battle once, to try my valour ! [Alarm.'] What 

53. should r\ I should O4. 56. nor harm] no harme Og O4. 

68. taratantaras] bugle-calls ; the tates the sound of a trumpet or 
word is onomatopoeic and imi- bugle. 


a coil they keep ! I believe there will be some hurt 
done anon amongst them. 

Enter Tamburlaine, Theridamas, Techelles, Usumca- 
SANE, Amyras, Celebinus leading the Turkish Kings. 

Tamh. See now, ye slaves, my children stoops your pride, 
And leads your glories sheep-like to the sword ! 
Bring them, my boys, and tell me if the wars 
Be not a life that may illustrate gods. 
And tickle not your spirits with desire 8o 

Still to be train'd in arms and chivalry ? 

Amy. Shall we let go these kings again, my lord. 
To gather greater numbers 'gainst our power. 
That they may say, it is not chance doth this, 
But matchless strength and magnanimity ? 

Tamh. No, no, Amyras ; tempt not Fortune so. 
Cherish thy valour still with fresh supplies. 
And glut it not with stale and daunted foes. 
But Where's this coward, villain, not my son, 
But traitor to my name and majesty ? 90 

\He goes in and brings him out. 
Image of sloth, and picture of a slave, 
The obloquy and scorn of my renown ! 
How may my heart, thus fired with mine eyes, 
Wounded with shame and kill'd with discontent. 
Shroud any thought may hold my striving hands 
From martial justice on thy wretched soul ? 

Ther. Yet pardon him, I pray your majesty. 

Tech. and Ustim. Let all of us entreat your highness' pardon. 

Tamh. Stand up, ye base, unworthy soldiers ! 

Know ye not yet the argument of arms ? 100 

Amy. Good, my lord, let him be forgiven for once, 

76. ye] my O4. 77. glories] bodies O^. 83. 'gainst] against O4. 
93, mine] my O^. 101. once] one O^- 

76. stoops] transitive, ' bends ' or 100. argument of arms] seems 

' bows '. here to mean ' course or nature of 

79. illustrate] become, adorn, military life ', The usage has no 

beautify. exact parallel in the N.E.D., but 

246 THE SECOND PART OF [act iv 

And we will force him to the field hereafter. 
Tamb. Stand up, my boys, and I will teach ye arms, 
And what the jealousy of wars must do. 
O Samarcanda, where I breathed first, 
And joy'd the fire of this martial flesh. 
Blush, blush, fair city, at thine honour's foil. 
And shame of nature, which Jaertis' stream. 
Embracing thee with deepest of his love. 
Can never wash from thy distained brows ! no 

Here, Jove, receive his fainting soul again ; 
A form not meet to give that subject essence 
Whose matter is the flesh of Tamburlaine, 
Wherein an incorporeal spirit moves. 
Made of the mould whereof thyself consists, 
Which makes me valiant, proud, ambitious. 
Ready to levy power against thy throne. 
That I might move the turning spheres of heaven ; 
For earth and all this airy region 
Cannot contain the state of Tamburlaine. 120 

[Stabs Calyphas. 

103. ye] you O3 O4. 106. martial] materiall O3 O4. 107. thine] thy 
O4. 108. which] Rob. etc., with O^^^. Jaertis] Laertis O4. 114. incor- 
poreal] incorporall O3 O4. 120. S.D.] Add. Dyce. 

it would appear that Tambur- 111-1.^. Here Jove ... thyself con- 

laine's metaphor is borrowed from sists] ' Here Jove receive again the 

the argument in which is set down soul of Calyphas, a spirit (i.e. 

the lines along which a play or " form " almost in the sense of 

story is destined to proceed. " idea ") not worthy to be the 

104. jealousy] zeal. immortal part (essence) of that 
105-8. O Samarcanda . . . Jaer- subject whose mortal part (matter) 

tis' stream] Much less is made of is derived from the flesh of Tam- 

Samarcand in this play than in burlaine — in whom moves an im- 

most of the biographies of Tambur- mortal spirit of the same mould 

laine, in whose life the city of his as thine own,' etc. The terms 

birth played an important part. ' form ', ' subject ', ' essence ', 

Jaertis here is undoubtedly the ' matter ' are used in strict accord- 

Jaxartes which appears in Ortelius's ance with the tradition of six- 

Persicum Regnum as ' Chesel fl. teenth-century Aristotelian logic, 

olim laxartes ' and runs from and the whole passage (111-117) 

Tartary due west into the Cas- throws an interesting light on 

pian Sea. But Samarchand in Marlowe's conception of the divinity 

this map is marked to the south of of man. 
the laxartes, on one of the head- 
waters of the Amu. 


By Mahomet, thy mighty friend, I swear, 

In sending to my issue such a soul, 

Created of the massy dregs of earth, 

The scum and tartar of the elements, 

Wherein was neither courage, strength or wit. 

But folly, sloth, and damned idleness. 

Thou hast procur'd a greater enemy 

Than he that darted mountains at thy head, 

Shaking the burden mighty Atlas bears, 

Whereat thou trembling hidd'st thee in the air, 130 

Cloth'd with a pitchy cloud for being seen. 

And now, ye cankered curs of Asia, 

That will not see the strength of Tamburlaine, 

Although it shine as brightly as the sun, 

Now you shall feel the strength of Tamburlaine, 

And, by the state of his supremacy. 

Approve the difference 'twixt himself and you. 

Ore. Thou showest the difference 'twixt ourselves and thee. 
In this thy barbarous damned tyranny. 

Jer. Thy victories are grown so violent, 140 

That shortly heaven, filled with the meteors 
Of blood and fire thy tyrannies have made. 
Will pour down blood and fire on thy head, 
Whose scalding drops will pierce thy seething brains, 
And with our bloods revenge our bloods on thee. 

128. Than] Then O3 O4. 135. you shall] shall ye O3 O4. 145. bloods 
on] blood on O^. 

12^. tartar] (bitartrate of potash) seen, to avoid being seen. This 

is generally used in the sixteenth gradual crescendo of rage is not 

century to describe the dregs of without value. From the death of 

wine or the deposit upon the cask. Zenocrate onwards the ever-in- 

Hence Tamburlaine's contemptuous creasing madness of Tamburlaine 

figurative use of the word. Cf. reveals itself more and more 

Donne, Serm., 11. xix. : ' Impa- clearly. The first indications are 

tience in affliction ... a leaven so given in the speeches at Zeno- 

kneaded into the nature of man, crate's death-bed, the frenzy rises 

so innate a tartar.' with Tamburlaine's hatred of Caly- 

128-131. that darted mountains phas, passing on to his murder and 

. . . for being seen] For the wars of this challenge to Zeus, to culminate 

Zeus with the Titans, seel, v.ii. 448. in the final challenge at the ap- 

for being seen] for fear of being proach of Tamburlaine's own death. 

248 THE SECOND PART OF [activ 

Tamb. Villains, these terrors and these tyrannies 
(If tyrannies war's justice ye repute), 
I execute, enjoin'd me from above, 
To scourge the pride of such as Heaven abhors ; 
Nor am I made arch-monarch of the world, 150 

Crown'd and invested by the hand of Jove, 
For deeds of bounty or nobility ; 
But since I exercise a greater name, 
The scourge of God and terror of the world, 
I must apply myself to fit those terms. 
In war, in blood, in death, in cruelty, 
And plague such peasants as resist in me 
The power of heaven's eternal majesty. 
Theridamas, Techelles and Casane, 
Ransack the tents and the pavilions 160 

Of these proud Turks and take their concubines. 
Making them bury this effeminate brat ; 
For not a common soldier shall defile 
His manly fingers with so faint a boy : 
Then bring those Turkish harlots to my tent, 
And ril dispose them as it likes me best. 
Meanwhile, take him in. 

Soldiers. We will, my lord. 

[Exeunt with the body of Calyphas. 

Jer. O damned monster, nay, a fiend of hell. 

Whose cruelties are not so harsh as thine, 170 

Nor yet imposed with such a bitter hate ! 

Ore. Revenge it, Rhadamanth and iEacus, 

And let your hates, extended in his pains, 

146. Villains] Villain O4. 157. peasants'] parsants O4. resist in] 
Broughton etc. resisting Oi_^. 168.] S.D, Add. Dyce.] om. O3 O4. 

157. resist in] the emendation 172. Rhadamanth and ZEacus] 

offered by Broughton and followed with Minos, the judges in Hades, 

by most subsequent editors for Here, they are more strictly, the 

' resisting ' of the octavos. distributors of rewards and pun- 

160. the tents and the pavilions] ishments after death, 
perhaps a reminiscence of Newton's 
phrase (see Appendix D). 


Expel the hate wherewith he pains our souls ! 

Treb. May never day give virtue to his eyes, 
Whose sight, composed of fury and of fire, 
Doth send such stern affections to his heart ! 

Sor. May never spirit, vein or artier feed 
The cursed substance of that cruel heart ; 
But, wanting moisture and remorseful blood, i8o 

Dry up with anger, and consume with heat ! 

Tamb. Well, bark, ye dogs ; I'll bridle all your tongues, 
And bind them close with bits of burnished steel, 
Down to the channels of your hateful throats ; 
And, with the pains my rigour shall inflict, 
ril make ye roar, that earth may echo forth 
The far resounding torments ye sustain ; 
As when an herd of lusty Cimbrian bulls 
Run mourning round about the females' miss, 
And, stung with fury of their following, 190 

Fill all the air with troublous bellowing. 
I will, with engines never exercised. 
Conquer, sack and utterly consume 
Your cities and your golden palaces. 
And with the flames that beat against the clouds. 
Incense the heavens and make the stars to melt. 
As if they were the tears of Mahomet 
For hot consumption of his country's pride ; 
And, till by vision or by speech I hear 
Immortal Jove say ' Cease, my Tamburlaine,' 200 
I will persist a terror to the world. 
Making the meteors, that, like armed men, 

183. close] clese O3. 186. ye\ you O3 O4. 

177. affections] See I, i. ii. 163, of the females, a somewhat 
and note. curious objective genitive. Wag- 

178. artier] one, though not a ner parallels ' miss ' with Shake - 
very common, variant of ' artery ' : speare's ' I should have a heavy 
Marlowe, in this play, seems to miss of thee ' (i Henry IV, v. iv. 
prefer this form. Cf. I, 11. vii. 10. 105). The same construction oc- 

188. Cimbrian bulls] I am unable curs in the next line ; ' their 
to account for this allusion. following ', for the ' following of 

189. the females' miss] the los§ them '. 

250 THE SECOND PART OF [act iv 

Are seen to march upon the towers of heaven, 

Run tilting round about the firmament, 

And break their burning lances in the air, 

For honour of my wondrous victories. 

Come, bring them in to our pavilion. [Exeunt. 


Olympia alone. 

Olym. Distressed Olympia, whose weeping eyes. 
Since thy arrival here, beheld no sun. 
But, closed within the compass of a tent. 
Hath stain'd thy cheeks, and made thee look like death, 
Devise some means to rid thee of thy life. 
Rather than yield to his detested suit, 
Whose drift is only to dishonour thee ; 
And since this earth, dew'd with thy brinish tears. 
Affords no herbs whose taste may poison thee. 
Nor yet this air, beat often with thy sighs, lo 

Contagious smells and vapours to infect thee. 
Nor thy close cave a sword to murder thee. 
Let this invention be the instrument. 

Enter Theridamas. 

Ther. Well met, Olympia ; I sought thee in my tent, 
But when I saw the place obscure and dark. 
Which with thy beauty thou wast wont to light, 
Enrag'd, I ran about the fields for thee. 
Supposing amorous Jove had sent his son. 
The winged Hermes, to convey thee hence ; 
But now I find thee, and that fear is past, 20 

Tell me, Olympia, wilt thou grant my suit ? 

Olym. My lord and husband's death, with my sweet son's, 

207. in td\ into O3 O4. 

Scene ii. 

Heading Scene ii.] Scena 3 Oi_4. 2. beheld] beholde O^ O4. 3. a] the O^. 
6. than] then Og O4. 16. wast] was O^. 22. son's] son O3 O4. 


With whom I buried all affections 
Save grief and sorrow, which torment my heart, 
Forbids my mind to entertain a thought 
That tends to love, but meditate on death, 
A fitter subject for a pensive soul. 

Ther. Olympia, pity him in whom thy looks 
Have greater operation and more force 
Than Cynthia's in the watery wilderness ; 30 

For with thy view my joys are at the full, 
And ebb again as thou depart st from me. 

Olym. Ah, pity me, my lord, and draw your sword. 
Making a passage for my troubled soul. 
Which beats against this prison to get out, 
And meet my husband and my loving son ! 

Ther. Nothing but still thy husband and thy son ? 
Leave this, my love, and listen more to me ; 
Thou shalt be stately queen of fair Argier ; 
And, cloth'd in costly cloth of massy gold, 40 

Upon the marble turrets of my court 
Sit like to Venus in her chair of state. 
Commanding all thy princely eye desires ; 
And I will cast off arms and sit with thee, 
Spending my life in sweet discourse of love. 

Olym. No such discourse is pleasant in mine ears. 
But that where every period ends with death, 
And every line begins with death again. 
I cannot love, to be an emperess. 

Ther. Nay lady, then, if nothing will prevail, 50 

I'll use some other means to make you yield. 
Such is the sudden fury of my love, 

44. and?^ to O2. 46. in] to O4. 

Scene ii acquainted with the nautical world 

than the average modern towns- 

30-3. Cynthia's . . . departst man. The full moon causes the 

from me] The influence of the high tides or springs (' my joys are 

moon upon the tides was a familiar at the full '), which sink to the 

fact to the Elizabethan poets, neaps (' And ebb again ') as she 

perhaps on the whole better wanes. 

252 THE SECOND PART OF [act iv 

I must and will be pleased, and you shall yield. 
Come to the tent again. 

Olym. Stay, good my lord and, will you save my honour, 
I'll give your grace a present of such price 
As all the world can not afford the like. 

Ther. What is it ? 

Olym. An ointment which a cunning alchemist 

Distilled from the purest balsamum 60 

And simplest extracts of all minerals, 

In which the essential form of marble stone, 

Tempered by science metaphysical. 

And spells of magic from the mouths of spirits, 

With which if you but 'noint your tender skin, 

Nor pistol, sword, nor lance can pierce your flesh. 

Ther. Why, madam, think ye to mock me thus palpably ? 

Olym. To prove it, I will 'noint my naked throat. 

Which when you stab, look on your weapon's point. 
And you shall see't rebated with the blow. 70 

Ther. Why gave you not your husband some of it, 
If you lov'd him, and it so precious ? 

Olym. My purpose was, my lord, to spend it so, 
But was prevented by his sudden end ; 
And for a present easy proof hereof, 
That I dissemble not, try it on me. 

Ther. I will, Olympia, and will keep it for 

55. good] now Og. and will you] if you will O4. 64. mouths] mother 
Og. 67. ye] you O3 O4. 75. hereof] thereof Og. 77. and will] and I 
will Og. 

59. An ointment . . . alchemist] quality, almost the ' spirit ', of the 

In Ariosto's version of the story, marble. For this use of ' form ' 

Isabella herself makes the oint- compare above, iv. i. 112, and 

ment and goes out to gather the note. 

herbs, jealously guarded by Rodo- 63. science metaphysical] black 

monte. The narrative- is long and magic, the science that went 

undramatic and Marlowe has con- beyond mere physical knowledge, 

densed it aptly by this device. We may compare Lady Macbeth's 

61-2. simplest extracts] What words, ' Which fate and meta- 

alchemy terms the elements, or physical aid doth seem to have thee 

elemental parts, of the minerals. crouned withal ' (i. v. 27-8), 
essential form] the fundamental 70. rebated] blunted. 


The richest present of this eastern world. 

[She 'noints her throat. 

Olym. Now stab, my lord, and mark your weapon's point, 
That will be blunted if the blow be great. 80 

Ther. Here, then, Olympia. [Stabs her. 

What, have I slain her ? Villain, stab thyself ! 
Cut off this arm that murdered my love. 
In whom the learned Rabbis of this age 
Might find as many wondrous miracles 
As in the theoria of the world ! 
Now hell is fairer than Elisian ; 
A greater lamp than that bright eye of heaven, 
From whence the stars do borrow all their light. 
Wanders about the black circumference ; 90 

And now the damned souls are free from pain. 
For every Fury gazeth on her looks ; 
Infernal Dis is courting of my love. 
Inventing masks and stately shows for her, 
Opening the doors of his rich treasury 
To entertain this queen of chastity ; 
WTiose body shall be tomb'd with all the pomp 
The treasure of my kingdom may afford. 

[Exit taking her away. 

81. S.D.] Add. Dyce. 87. than Elisian] then Elizian O3 O4. 88. than] 
then O3 O4. 98. my] thy O^- 

84-6. learned Rabbis . . . theoria what obscure ; the N.E.D. queries 

of the world] The title Rabbi, now ' contemplation, survey ', which is 

used only for a Jewish doctor of probably the meaning. Cf. Sir 

the law, was during the sixteenth Thomas Browne's use of ' theory ' 

and seventeenth centuries some- in 1643 : ' Nor can I think I have 

times applied to any man of great the true theory of death when I 

and comparable learning. The contemplate a skull.' {Rel. Med., 

reference to ' the theoria ' is some- i. § 45.) 



[act IV 


Tamburlaine, drawn in his chariot by Trebizon and Soria, 
with bits in their mouths, reins in his left hand, and in 
his right hand a whip with which he scourgeth them ; 
Techelles, Theridamas, Usumcasane, Amyras, Cele- 
BiNUS, Natolia and Jerusalem, led by five or six 
common Soldiers. 

Tamb. Holla, ye pampered jades of Asia ! 

What, can ye draw but twenty miles a day, 
And have so proud a chariot at your heels, 
And such a coachman as great Tamburlaine, 
But from Asphaltis, where I conquered you, 
To Byron here, where thus I honour you ? 
The horse that guide the golden eye of heaven. 
And blow the morning from their nostrils. 
Making their fiery gait above the clouds, 

Scene in. 
Heading Scene Hi.] Add. Dyce Scaena 4 0^_^. 

Scene Hi. 
The absurd exaggeration of this 
scene, which, nevertheless, appears 
to have given the play an important 
measure of its popularity, drew 
down allusion and parody from con- 
temporary writers as it has drawn 
comment from its subsequent 
editors. Broughton and Dyce cite, 
between them, some dozen in- 
stances of contemporary burlesque 
or ironical allusion (see also C. F. 
Tucker Brooke, The Reputation of 
Christopher Marlowe, under Tam- 
burlaine), of which the most famous 
is Shakespeare's parody of the 
opening lines of the scene (// 
Henry IV, 11. iv. 178 seq.). I have 
found no detailed accounts of this 
episode in any of the histories 
which Marlowe appears to have used 
(see Introduction) and am driven 
to conclude that he elaborated it 
himself from slender hints, such as 
this of Haytoun : ' Car il avoit 
avecques soy plusieurs roys et 

grans princes qui eussent mieulx 
ayme vivre en povrete hors de sa 
compaignie, que destre avecques 
luy en grandes richesses et hon- 
neurs.' {Les fleurs des hystoires . . . 
1501, Part v. ch. vii. Sig. Rv) 

5-6. from Asphaltis . . . to Byron] 
By Asphaltis Marlowe means the 
bituminous lake near Babylon 
(see III. V. I seq., and note) : ' In 
the maps of Asia and Turcicum 
Imperium, Biron is only a few 
miles up-stream from Babylon or 
Bagdet itself.' {Marlowe's Map, 

8. And blow . . . nostrils'] Dyce 
points out that Chapman and the 
anonymous author of Caesar and 
Pompey have also drawn upon the 
hues which Marlowe translates 
here : 

'. . . Cum primum alto se 
gurgite toUunt 
' Solis equi, lucemque elatis naribus 

{Aeneid, xii. 114!) 


Are not so honoured in their governor lo 

As you, ye slaves, in mighty Tamburlaine. 

The headstrong jades of Thrace Alcides tam'd, 

That King .^geus fed with human flesh. 

And made so wanton that they knew their strengths, 

Were not subdu'd with valour more divine 

Than you by this unconquered arm of mine. 

To make you fierce, and fit my appetite. 

You shall be fed with flesh as raw as blood. 

And drink in pails the strongest muscadel ; 

If you can live with it, then live and draw 20 

My chariot swifter than the racking clouds ; 

If not, then die like beasts, and fit for naught 

But perches for the black and fatal ravens. 

Thus am I right the scourge of highest Jove ; 

And see the figure of my dignity, 

By which I hold my name and majesty. 

Amy. Let me have coach, my lord, that I may ride. 
And thus be drawn with these two idle kings. 

Tamb. Thy youth forbids such ease, my kingly boy ; 

They shall to-morrow draw my chariot, 30 

While these their fellow kings may be refreshed. 

Ore. O thou that swayest the region under earth. 
And art a king as absolute as Jove, 
Come as thou didst in fruitful Sicily, 
Surveying all the glories of the land, 

10. iri] as O4. 21, than] then O3 O4. 27. coach'] a coch O3 a coach O4. 
28. with] by O4. 

12. Alcides tam'd] For Marlowe's of Zeus, had absolute power in the 

references to Hercules, see I, iii. lower regions and was thus some- 

iii. 104, note. times referred to as Jove of the 

21. racking] moving before the underworld, ' Juppiter Stygius ' 

wind. {A en., iv. 638). For the story of 

25. figure of my dignity] the very the rape of Persephone and the 

image of my dignity. N.E.D. cites wanderings of Ceres, see Metam., 

Elyot, Gov., I. xxvi. : ' There is v. 385 ff., a passage which, like 

not a more playne figure of idlenesse the other numerous classical refer- 

than playinge at dise.' ences to the tale, seems to be 

32-8. Thou that swayest . . . derived from Homeric Hymn 2 

queen] Hades (Pluto), the brother (to Demeter). 

256 THE SECOND PART OF [activ 

And as thou took'st the fair Proserpina, 

Joying the fruit of Ceres' garden plot, 

For love, for honour, and to make her queen, 

So, for just hate, for shame, and to subdue 

This proud contemner of thy dreadful power, 40 

Come once in fury, and survey his pride, 

Haling him headlong to the lowest hell ! 

Ther. Your majesty must get some bits for these, 
To bridle their contemptuous cursing tongues, 
That, like unruly never broken jades. 
Break through the hedges of their hateful mouths. 
And pass their fixed bounds exceedingly. 

Tech. Nay, we will break the hedges of their mouths. 
And pull their kicking colts out of their pastures. 

Usum. Your majesty already hath devised 50 

A mean, as fit as may be, to restrain 
These coltish coach-horse tongues from blasphemy. 

Cel. How like you that, sir king ? why speak you not ? 

Jer. Ah, cruel brat, sprung from a tyrant's loins ! 
How like his cursed father he begins 
To practice taunts and bitter tyrannies ! 

Tamh. Ay, Turk, I tell thee, this same boy is he 
That must, advanced in higher pomp than this, 
Rifle the kingdoms I shall leave unsacked, 
If Jove, esteeming me too good for earth, 60 

37. garden] garded Og. 53. speak you] speak ye O^- 57- same] om. 
O4. 58. than] then O3 O4. 

48-49. hedges of their mouths evidences of youth," so erlaube 
. . . pastures] This somewhat in- ich mir, ihm das Epitheton 
effectual play of words has given " stupid " zu geeigneterer Ver- 
more trouble to Marlowe's editors wendung zuriickzustellen, denn er 
than it deserves. Wagner makes hat die Stelle nicht verstanden. 
a plea for such meaning as the Es kommt gar nicht darauf an, 
passage has and his words may be wie alt die besiegten Konige als 
quoted : ' Wenn Cunningham in Menschen sind, sondern darauf, 
seiner Anmerkung sagt " A stupid dass sie hier als coltish coach- 
allusion to the first teeth, called horses ' (1. 52) ' vorgefiihrt werden, 
colt's teeth, or milk teeth " und und als solche sind sie jung. Das 
dies dann so begriindet " The Wortspiel ist nicht besser und 
celebrated pampered jades of Asia nicht schlechter als unzahlige 
must long before have lost those Shakespeare'sche " quibbles ".' 


Raise me to match the fair Aldeboran, 

Above the threefold astracism of heaven, 

Before I conquer all the triple world. 

Now fetch me out the Turkish concubines ; 

I will prefer them for the funeral 

They have bestowed on my abortive son. 

\The Concubines are brought in. 

Where are my common soldiers now, that fought 

So lion-like upon Asphaltis' plains ? 
Soldiers. Here, my lord. 
Tamb. Hold ye, tall soldiers, take ye queens a piece, 70 

I mean such queens as were kings' concubines ; 

Take them ; divide them, and their jewels too. 

And let them equally serve all your turns. 
Soldiers. We thank your majesty. 
Tamb. Brawl not, I warn you, for your lechery ; 

For every man that so offends shall die. 
Ore. Injurious tyrant, wilt thou so defame 

The hateful fortunes of thy victory. 

To exercise upon such guiltless dames 

The violence of thy common soldiers' lust ? 80 

Tamb. Live continent, then, ye slaves, and meet not me 

With troops of harlots at your slothful heels. 
Concubines. O pity us, my lord, and save our honours ! 
Tamb. Are ye not gone, ye villains, with your spoils ? 

[They run away with the ladies. 
Jer. O merciless, infernal cruelty ! 
Tamb. Save your honours ! 'twere but time indeed, 

Lost long before you knew what honour meant. 

61. match] march O3 O4. 62. Above] About O4. astracism] 

Astrachisme O2. 72. their] om. Og- 81. continent] Rob. etc. content O^.^. 
87. you] ye O^- 

61-3. Aldeboran] The star in the outermost sphere but one (the 

eye of the constellation Taurus. outermost was the /)nmww wo&z/e). 

An astracism (more properly Why Marlowe applies to this the 

' asterism ') is a constellation, that epithet ' threefold ' I have not been 

is, from Marlowe's point of view, able to discover, 

one of the twelve groups of fixed 70. tall] see II, iv. i. 33, and 

stars of the zodiac which formed the note. 

258 THE SECOND PART OF [activ 

Ther. It seems they meant to conquer us, my lord, 
And make us jesting pageants for their trulls. 

Tamb. And now themselves shall make our pageant, 90 
And common soldiers jest with all their trulls. 
Let them take pleasure soundly in their spoils, 
Till we prepare our march to Babylon, 
Whether we next make expedition. 

Tech. Let us not be idle, then, my lord. 
But presently be prest to conquer it. 

Tamb. We will, Techelles. Forward, then, ye jades ! 
Now crouch, ye kings of greatest Asia, 
And tremble when ye hear this scourge will come 
That whips down cities and controlleth crowns, 100 
Adding their wealth and treasure to my store. 
The Euxine sea, north to Natolia ; 
The Terrene, west ; the Caspian, north north-east ; 
And on the south. Sinus Arabicus ; 
Shall all be loaden with the martial spoils 
We will convey with us to Persia. 
Then shall my native city Samarcanda, 
And crystal waves of fresh Jaertis' stream, 
The pride and beauty of her princely seat, 
Be famous through the furthest continents ; no 

For there my palace royal shall be plac'd. 
Whose shining turrets shall dismay the heavens. 
And cast the fame of Ilion's tower to hell ; 
Thorough the streets, with troops of conquered kings, 
I'll ride in golden armour like the sun ; 

105. all] om. O4. 114. Thorough'] through O3 & through O4. 

96. prest] see II, i. ii. 45, and note. owe little to anything but Mar- 
io 7-8. Samarcanda . . . Jaertis'] lowe's imagination set to work by 
see II, IV. i. 105, 108, and note. the statements (current in all the 
111-18. my palace royal . . . of biographers and fairly full in 
the three-fold world] This description Perondinus) that Tamburlaine built 
of Samarcand does indeed recall or extended the city of Samar- 
some of the more general parts of cand, filled it with his treasures 
the reports made by travellers and captives, and made it the 
such as Clavijo and Schiltberger. wealthiest and most extensive city 
But upon closer view it is seen to of Asia. 


And in my helm a triple plume shall spring, 

Spangled with diamonds, dancing in the air. 

To note me emperor of the three-fold world ; 

Like to an almond tree ymounted high 

Upon the lofty and celestial mount I20 

Of ever green Selinus, quaintly decked 

With blooms more white than Herycina's brows. 

Whose tender blossoms tremble every one 

At every little breath that thorough heaven is blown. 

Then in my coach, like Saturn's royal son 

Mounted his shining chariot gilt with fire, 

And drawn with princely eagles through the path 

Pav'd with bright crystal and enchas'd with stars, 

When all the gods stand gazing at his pomp, 

So will I ride through Samarcanda streets, 130 

Until my soul, dissevered from this flesh. 

Shall mount the milk-white way, and meet him there. 

To Babylon, my lords, to Babylon ! [Exeunt. 

Finis Actus Quarti. 

121. ever] Rob. etc. every {everie) Oi_4. 122. brows] bowes O2. 124. 
that thorough] from O4. 126. chariot] Dyce etc. Chariots O1.4. 

119-24. Like to an almond-tree go under this name. Broughton 

. . . is blown] These hnes occur, draws attention to Virgil's reference 

with very shght modification, in {Aen., ill. 705). 
the Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto 122. Herycina] This epithet of 

VII. v. 32. As the first three Venus may have been suggested 

books of the Faerie Queene were to Marlowe by Horace {Odes, i. 

not published until 1590, there has 2-33) or by Ovid, Metam., v. 363, 

been some speculation as to whether Her. xv. 57, Am., 11. 10, 11, The 

or not Marlowe can have read the epithet is common, and is derived 

manuscript of the poem before from the temple of Venus on 

publication. Mt. Eryx in the west of Sicily. 

121. 5e/wws] Presumably a refer- Cf. Volpone iii. vi : 'Then I like 

ence to the Sicilian town and not Mars and thou like Erycine.' 
to any of the several rivers that 



Enter the Governor of Babylon upon the walls with others. 

Gov. What saith Maximus ? 

Max. My lord, the breach the enemy hath made 
Gives such assurance of our overthrow, 
That little hope is left to save our lives. 
Or hold our city from the conqueror's hands. 
Then hang out flags, my lord, of humble truce, 
And satisfy the people's general prayers. 
That Tamburlaine's intolerable wrath 
May be suppressed by our submission. 

Gov. Villain, respects thou more thy slavish life lo 

Than honour of thy country or thy name ? 
Is not my life and state as dear to me, 
The city and my native country's weal. 
As any thing of price with thy conceit ? 
Have we not hope, for all our battered walls. 
To live secure and keep his forces out. 
When this our famous lake of Limnasphaltis 
Makes walls afresh with every thing that falls 
Into the liquid substance of his stream, 

Act V. Scene i. 
6. out] our O 2-i' II. Than] Then O3O4. 14. ofJinO^. 

Act V. Scene i. 

have been indebted to Herodotus- 
It would have been possible, how- 
1/^. As . . . conceit] As anything ever, for him to find these descrip- 
that is prized in your thoughts. tions repeated by contemporary 
17. Limnasphaltis] For his de- travellers such as John Eldred, 
scriptions of Babylon and for the to whom reference has already been 
almost fabulous properties of its made by Miss Seaton (see note on 
bituminous lake, Marlowe may II, iii. v. i seq.). 



More strong than are the gates of death or hell ? 20 
What faint ness should dismay our courages, 
When we are thus defenc'd against our foe, 
And have no terror but his threatening looks ? 

Enter another, kneeling to the Governor. 

Cit. My lord, if ever you did deed of ruth, 
And now will work a refuge to our lives. 
Offer submission, hang up flags of truce. 
That Tamburlaine may pity our distress. 
And use us like a loving conqueror. 
Though this be held his last day's dreadful siege. 
Wherein he spareth neither man nor child, 30 

Yet are there Christians of Georgia here. 
Whose state he ever pitied and reliev'd. 
Will get his pardon, if your grace would send. 

Gov. How is my soul environed ! 
And this eternised city Babylon 
Fiird with a pack of faint-heart fugitives 
That thus entreat their shame and servitude ! 

Another. My lord, if ever you will win our hearts. 
Yield up the town, save our wives and children ; 
For I will cast myself from off these walls, 40 

Or die some death of quickest violence. 
Before I bide the wrath of Tamburlaine. 

Gov. Villains, cowards, traitors to our state ! 

Fall to the earth, and pierce the pit of hell, 

24. Prefix Cit.'] Add. Dyce. 32. he] was Og. 38. you] ye O^,- 39- save] 
and save O4. 

31-2. Christians . . . he ever pitied set down here because it happened 

and reliev'd] The historical Tambur- to come back to the memory, 

laine was, of course, pecuHarly 34. How . . . environed] Various 

merciless to Christians ; it was the emendations have been suggested 

faithful followers of Islam who to complete this metrically defec- 

sometimes obtained mercy from tive line. Wagner suggested pre- 

him. It is difficult to say what fixing ' Alas ! ' or ' Ay me ! ' and 

allusion gave Marlowe this idea, but Broughton, Bullen and Dyce sug- 

it bears the marks of a piece of gested adding ' with cares ' or 

more or less irrelevant information ' with grief '. 


That legions of tormenting spirits may vex 
Your slavish bosoms with continual pains ! 
I care not, nor the town will never yield 
As long as any life is in my breast. 

Enter Theridamas and Techelles, with other Soldiers. 

Ther. Thou desperate governor of Babylon, 

To save thy life, and us a little labour, 50 

Yield speedily the city to our hands, 
Or else be sure thou shalt be forc'd with pains 
More exquisite than ever traitor felt. 

Gov. Tyrant, I turn the traitor in thy throat. 
And will defend it in despite of thee. 
Call up the soldiers to defend these walls. 

Tech. Yield, foolish governor ; we offer more 
Than ever yet we did to such proud slaves 
As durst resist us till our third day's siege. 
Thou seest us prest to give the last assault, 60 

And that shall bide no more regard of parlie. 

Gov. Assault and spare not ; we will never yield. 

[^Alarms : and they scale the walls. 

Enter Tamburlaine, with Usumcasane, Amyras and 
Celebinus, with others ; the two spare kings. 

Tamh. The stately buildings of fair Babylon, 
Whose lofty pillars, higher than the clouds, 
Were wont to guide the seaman in the deep, 
Being carried thither by the cannon's force, 
Now fill the mouth of Limnasphaltis' lake. 
And make a bridge unto the battered walls. 
Where Belus, Ninus and great Alexander 

49. Prefix Ther.'] Add. Rob. 58. Than] Then O3 O4. 64. than] then 
O3 O4. 

69-70. Where Belus . . . triumphs legendary founder, himself the son 

Tamburlaine] The three successive of Poseidon ; Ninus, the hardly 

masters of Babylon here come less legendary founder of the 

before Tamburlaine : Belus, the empire of Nineveh, whose queen. 


Have rode in triumph, triumphs Tamburlaine, 70 

Whose chariot wheels have burst th' Assyrians' bones, 

Drawn with these kings on heaps of carcasses. 

Now in the place where fair Semiramis, 

Courted by kings and peers of Asia, 

Hath trod the measures, do my soldiers march ; 

And in the streets, where brave Assyrian dames 

Have rid in pomp like rich Saturnia, 

With furious words and frowning visages 

My horsemen brandish their unruly blades. 

Enter Theridamas and Techelles, bringing the Governor 

OF Babylon. 

Who have ye there, my lords ? 80 

Ther. The sturdy governor of Babylon, 

That made us all the labour for the town, 

And used such slender reckoning of your majesty. 

Tamh. Go, bind the villain ; he shall hang in chains 
Upon the ruins of this conquered town. — 
Sirrah, the view of our vermilion tents, 
Which threatened more than if the region 
Next underneath the element of fire 
Were full of comets and of blazing stars. 
Whose flaming trains should reach down to the earth. 
Could not affright you ; no, nor I myself, 91 

The wrathful messenger of mighty Jove, 
That with his sword hath quail'd all earthly kings, 
Could not persuade you to submission. 
But still the ports were shut : villain, I say, 

83. of] for O4. your] you O^. 87. than] then O3 O4. 

Semiramis, built the famous walls 77. Saturnia] a relatively fre- 

of Babylon, and Alexander of quent epithet for Juno, occurs in 

Macedon, who overcame the then the writings of both Ovid and 

effete Babylonian empire in 331 B.C. Virgil. See, especially, Aen., i. 23 

71. burst] broken. Broughton and Metam., iv. 464. 

aptly cites, ' You will not pay for 95. ports] gates. Cf. I, 11. i. 

glasses you have burst.' Tarn. 42. 
Shrew {Induction). 


Should I but touch the rusty gates of hell, 

The triple headed Cerberus would howl, 

And wake black Jove to crouch and kneel to me ; 

But I have sent volleys of shot to you. 

Yet could not enter till the breach was made. loo 

Gov. Nor, if my body could have stopt the breach, 
Shouldst thou have entered, cruel Tamburlaine. 
Tis not thy bloody tents can make me yield. 
Nor yet thyself, the anger of the highest ; 
For, though thy cannon shook the city walls. 
My heart did never quake, or courage faint. 

Tamh. Well, now I'll make it quake. Go draw him up, 
Hang him in chains upon the city walls, 
And let my soldiers shoot the slave to death. 

Gov. Vile monster, born of some infernal hag, no 

And sent from hell to tryrannise on earth. 
Do all thy worst ; nor death, nor Tamburlaine, 
Torture, or pain, can daunt my dreadless mind. 

Tamh. Up with him, then ! his body shall be scarred. 

Gov. But, Tamburlaine, in Limnasphaltis' lake 
There lies more gold than Babylon is worth, 
Which, when the city was besieg'd, I hid : 
Save but my life, and I will give it thee. 

Tamh. Then, for all your valour, you would save your life ? 
Whereabout lies it ? 120 

Gov. Under a hollow bank, right opposite 
Against the western gate of Babylon. 

98. wake] make O4. 105. city] om. O4. 107. him] itO^. 114. scarred] 
seard O3 O4. 116. than] then O ^ 1^. 

98. black Jove] again Pluto, the 115-22. in Limnasphaltis' lake 

Jove of the black, infernal regions. . . . gate of Babylon] None of the 

114. scarred] The reading of sources which Marlowe is generally 

Oi O2 is * scard ' which could believed to have used mention 

stand equally for the modern this episode, but there is a curious 

' scarred ' or ' scared ', of which, parallel in Schiltberger's account 

' scarred ' seems preferable here. of the taking of Babylon ; the King 

The reading of O3 O4, ' seard ', was of Babylon kept his treasure in a 

adopted by Robinson (from O4 ; O3 fortress apart (possibly Alindsha 

was, of course, unknown to pre- on the Araxes) and Timur diverted 

vious editors). the river in order to reach it. 


Tamb. Go thither, some of you, and take his gold : — 

The rest forward with execution. 

Away with him hence, let him speak no more. 

I think I make your courage something quail. 

When this is done, we'll march from Babylon, 

And make our greatest haste to Persia. 

These jades are broken winded and half tir'd ; 

Unharness them, and let me have fresh horse. 130 

So ; now their best is done to honour me. 

Take them and hang them both up presently. 
Treh. Vild tyrant ! barbarous, bloody Tamburlaine ! 
Tamb. Take them away, Theridamas ; see them despatched. 
Ther. I will, my lord. 

[Exit with the Kings of Trehizon and Soria. 
Tamb. Come, Asian viceroys ; to your tasks a while, 

And take such fortune as your fellows felt. 
Ore. First let thy Scythian horse tear both our limbs. 

Rather than we should draw thy chariot. 

And, like base slaves, abject our princely minds 140 

To vile and ignominious servitude. 
Jer. Rather lend me thy weapon, Tamburlaine, 

That I may sheathe it in this breast of mine. 

A thousand deaths could not torment our hearts 

More than the thought of this doth vex our souls. 
Amy. They will talk still, my lord, if you do not bridle them. 
Tamb. Bridle them, and let me to my coach. 

They bridle them. — [The Governor of Babylon appears 
hanging in chains on the walls. — Re-enter Theri- 

Amy. See now, my lord, how brave the captain hangs. 
Tamb. 'Tis brave indeed, my boy : well done ! 

Shoot first, my lord, and then the rest shall follow. 150 

133. Vild] wild O4. 135. S.D.] Add. Dyce. 145. thafi] then O3 O4. 
147. S.D. The . . . Theridamas] Add. Dyce. 

133- Vild] a common form of 140. abject] abase. Cf. abjection 

' vile ' which appears to be used of I, v. ii. 204. 
interchangeably with it. 

266 THE SECOND PART OF [act v 

Ther. Then have at him, to begin withal. 

Theridamas shoots. 
Gov. Yet save my life, and let this wound appease 

The mortal fury of great Tamburlaine ! 
Tamh. No, though Asphaltis' lake were liquid gold, 

And offer'd me as ransom for thy life. 

Yet shouldst thou die. — Shoot at him all at once. 

They shoot. 

So, now he hangs like Bagdet's governor. 

Having as many bullets in his flesh 

As there be breaches in her battered wall. 

Go now, and bind the burghers hand and foot, i6o 

And cast them headlong in the city's lake. 

Tartars and Persians shall inhabit there ; 

And, to command the city, I will build 

A citadel, that all Africa, 

Which hath been subject to the Persian king, 

Shall pay me tribute for, in Babylon. 
Tech. What shall be done with their wives and children, my 

Tamh. Techelles, drown them all, man, woman and child ; 

Leave not a Babylonian in the town. 170 

Tech. I will about it straight. Come, soldiers. 

Tamh. Now, Casane, where's the Turkish Alcaron, 

157. Bagdet's] Budgets O3 O4. 

164. A citadel . . . Africa] This be applied. For the significance 

hne appears metrically defective, of the reference, see Introduction. 

but perhaps the missing syllable There is no precedent that I know 

may be accounted for by a dramatic for this conversion and attack upon 

pause after' citadel '. BuUen conjee- Mahomet in the biographies. A 

tured ' lofty citadel ' and Broughton few of the European historians, 

'Arabia'. among them Perondinus, expressly 

172, seq. Where's the Turkish Al- describe Tamburlaine's respect for 
caron etc.] This passage has been Mahometan shrines and the esteem 
generally regarded as the objec- in which he held their sages and 
tive of Greene's denunciation when priests, while the fact is a common- 
he speaks of ' daring God out of place in the oriental accounts and 
heaven with that atheist Tambur- in Schiltberger's narrative. '. . . 
laine ', though in point of fact it is Religione tactus, seu potius secret© 
by no means the only passage in quodam (uti forsan credi par est) 
the play to which these lines could afflatus numine, Mahomethanorum 


And all the heaps of superstitious books 

Found in the temples of that Mahomet 

Whom I have thought a god ? they shall be burnt. 

Usum. Here they are, my lord. 

Tamb. Well said. Let there be a fire presently. 

[They light a fire. 
In vain, I see, men worship Mahomet : 
My sword hath sent millions of Turks to hell, 
Slew all his priests, his kinsmen and his friends, i8o 
And yet I live untouched by Mahomet. 
There is a God, full of revenging wrath, 
From whom the thunder and the lightning breaks, 
Whose scourge I am, and him will I obey. 
So, Casane ; fling them in the fire. 

[They burn the books. £^, 
Now, Mahomet, if thou have any power, » j^^ 
Come down thyself and work a miracle. i|^ »f l' ' 
Thou art not worthy to be worshipped ^ 
That suffers flames of fire to burn the writ 
Wherein the sum of thy religion rests. 190 

Why send'st thou not a furious whirlwind down. 
To blow thy Alcaron up to thy throne. 
Where men report thou sitt'st by God himself. 
Or vengeance on the head of Tamburlaine 
That shakes his sword against thy majesty. 
And spurns the abstracts of thy foolish laws ? 
Well soldiers, Mahomet remains in hell ; 
He cannot hear the voice of Tamburlaine : 
Seek out another godhead to adore ; 
The God that sits in heaven, if any god, 200 

For he is God alone, and none but he. 

[Re-enter Techelles 

177. S.D.] Add. Dyce. 184. will /] I wil{l) O3 O4. 185. S.D.] Add. 
Dyce. 191. send' St] sends O3 O4. 193. sitt'st] sits O3 O4. 194. head] 
blood O4. 197. Mahomet] Mahowet O3. 201. S.D.] Add. Dyce. 

delubris pepercit, quae adhuc ma visuntur ' {Perondinus, Cap. 
praecellenti structura pulcherri- xxiii). 

268 THE SECOND PART OF [act v 

Tech. I have fulfill'd your highness' will, my lord ; 

Thousands of men, drown'd in Asphaltis' lake, 

Have made the water swell above the banks, 

And fishes, fed by human carcasses. 

Amazed, swim up and down upon the waves. 

As when they swallow assafitida. 

Which makes them fleet aloft and gasp for air. 
Tamh. Well, then, my friendly lords, what now remains. 

But that we leave sufficient garrison, 210 

And presently depart to Persia, 

To triumph after all our victories ? 
Ther. Ay, good my lord, let us in haste to Persia ; 

And let this captain be remov'd the walls 

To some high hill about the city here. 
Tamh. Let it be so ; about it, soldiers. 

But stay ; I feel myself distempered suddenly. 
Tech. What is it dares distemper Tamburlaine ? 
Tamh. Something, Techelles ; but I know not what. 

But, forth, ye vassals ! whatsoe'er it be, 220 

Sickness or death can never conquer me. 



Enter Callapine, AMx\sia, with drums and trumpets. 

Call. King of Amasia, now our mighty host 
Marcheth in Asia Major, where the streams 
Of Euphrates and Tigris swiftly runs ; 
And here may we behold great Babylon, 

205. fed] Rob. etc. feed Oi_4. 206. upon] om. O3 O4. 208. gasp] gape O^- 
213. in] om. O3 O4. 220. whatsoe'er] what soever O4. 

Scene ii. 
4. may we] we may O4. 

205.^5/5^5] Marlowe's imagination 208. 7?^^/] float, 

misled him slightly when he intro- 
duced fishes into the bituminous 
lake of Babylon. 


Circled about with Limnasphaltis' lake, 

Where Tamburlaine with all his army lies, 

Which being faint and weary with the siege, 

We may lie ready to encounter him 

Before his host be full from Babylon, 

And so revenge our latest grievous loss, lo 

If God or Mahomet send any aid. 

Ama. Doubt not, my lord, but we shall conquer him ; 
The monster that hath drunk a sea of blood. 
And yet gapes still for more to quench his thirst. 
Our Turkish swords shall headlong send to hell ; 
And that vile carcass, drawn by warlike kings, 
The fowls shall eat ; for never sepulchre 
Shall grace that base-born tyrant Tamburlaine. 

Call. When I record my parents' slavish life. 

Their cruel death, mine own captivity, 20 

My viceroys' bondage under Tamburlaine, 

Methinks I could sustain a thousand deaths. 

To be reveng'd of all his villany. 

Ah, sacred Mahomet, thou that hast seen 

Millions of Turks perish by Tamburlaine, 

Kingdoms made waste, brave cities sacked and burnt, 

And but one host is left to honour thee, 

Aid thy obedient servant Callapine, 

And make him, after all these overthrows, 

To triumph over cursed Tamburlaine ! 30 

Ama. Fear not, my lord : I see great Mahomet, 
Clothed in purple clouds, and on his head 
A chaplet brighter than Apollo's crown, 
Marching about the air with armed men, 
To join with you against this Tamburlaine. 

18. thaf] this Og. 19. parents'] Parens O3. 33. than] then O3 O4. 

<. .. The N.E.D. cites Palsgr. 681-2: 

^^^^^ "• ' When I recorde the gentyll 

19. record] Frequent in EHza- wordes he hath had unto me, it 
bethan English in the sense either maketh my herte full sorye for 
of ' call to mind ' or of ' set down ', hym.' 


Capt. Renowmed general, mighty Callapine, 
Though God himself and holy Mahomet 
Should come in person to resist your power. 
Yet might your mighty host encounter all. 
And pull proud Tamburlaine upon his knees 40 

To sue for mercy at your highness' feet. 

Call. Captain, the force of Tamburlaine is great. 
His fortune greater, and the victories 
Wherewith he hath so sore dismayed the world 
Are greatest to discourage all our drifts ; 
Yet when the pride of Cynthia is at full. 
She wanes again ; and so shall his, I hope ; 
For we have here the chief selected men 
Of twenty several kingdoms at the least ; 
Nor ploughman, priest, nor merchant stays at home ; 50 
All Turkey is in arms with Callapine ; 
And never will we sunder camps and arms 
Before himself or his be conquered : 
This is the time that must eternise me 
For conquering the tyrant of the world. 
Come, soldiers, let us lie in wait for him. 
And if we find him absent from his camp. 
Or that it be rejoin'd again at full. 
Assail it, and be sure of victory. Exeunt. 


Theridamas, Techelles, Usumcasane. 

Ther. Weep, heavens, and vanish into liquid tears ! 
Fall, stars that govern his nativity. 
And summon all the shining lamps of heaven 

Scene in. 
1. Prefix Ther] Add. Dyce om. Oi_4. 

earlier part of this scene may be 
Scene nt. compared with the early part of 

The almost strophic form of the II, 11. iv. 


To cast their bootless fires to the earth, 

And shed their feeble influence in the air ; 

Muffle your beauties with eternal clouds, 

For hell and darkness pitch their pitchy tents. 

And Death, with armies of Cimmerian spirits. 

Gives battle 'gainst the heart of Tamburlaine. 

Now, in defiance of that wonted love lo 

Your sacred virtues pour'd upon his throne, 

And made his state an honour to the heavens, 

These cowards invisibly assail his soul. 

And threaten conquest on our sovereign ; 

But if he die, your glories are disgrac'd. 

Earth droops and says that hell in heaven is plac'd. 

Tech. O, then, ye powers that sway eternal seats. 
And guide this massy substance of the earth. 
If you retain desert of holiness, 

As your supreme estates instruct our thoughts, 20 
Be not inconstant, careless of your fame. 
Bear not the burden of your enemies' joys. 
Triumphing in his fall whom you advanced ; 
But as his birth, life, health and majesty 
Were strangely blest and governed by heaven, 
So honour, heaven, till heaven dissolved be, 
His birth, his life, his health and majesty ! 

Usum. Blush, heaven, to lose the honour of thy name, 
To see thy footstool set upon thy head ; 
And let no baseness in thy haughty breast 30 

Sustain a shame of such inexcellence, 
To see the devils mount in angels' thrones. 
And angels dive into the pools of hell. 
And, though they think their painful date is out. 
And that their power is puissant as Jove's, 

13. invisibly] invincible O 2- 31. inexcellence] inexcellencie O^. 

4. bootless] unavailing. 29. To see . . . thy head] Aremin- 

8. Cimmerian] black, infernal. iscence of Psalm ex. i. 

20. estates] states, positions. 35. puissant] here trisyllabic, an 

unusual accent. 


Which makes them manage arms against thy state, 

Yet make them feel the strength of Tamburlaine, 

Thy instrument and note of majesty, 

Is greater far than they can thus subdue ; 

For, if he die, thy glory is disgrac'd, 40 

Earth droops and says that hell in heaven is plac'd. 

[Enter Tamburlaine, drawn by the captive kings, Amyras, 
Celebinus, and Physicians. 

Tamb. What daring god torments my body thus, 
And seeks to conquer mighty Tamburlaine ? 
Shall sickness prove me now to be a man. 
That have been term'd the terror of the world ? 
Techelles and the rest, come, take your swords, 
And threaten him whose hand afflicts my soul : 
Come, let us march against the powers of heaven, 
And set black streamers in the firmament. 
To signify the slaughter of the gods. 50 

Ah, friends, what shall I do ? I cannot stand. 
Come, carry me to war against the gods. 
That thus envy the health of Tamburlaine. 

Ther. Ah, good my lord, leave these impatient words, 
Which add much danger to your malady ! 

Tamb. Why, shall I sit and languish in this pain ? 
No, strike the drums, and, in revenge of this. 
Come, let us charge our spears, and pierce his breast 
Whose shoulders bear the axis of the world, 
That, if I perish, heaven and earth may fade. 60 

37. Tamburlaine] Tarburlain Og- 41. S.D.] Add. Wagner. 43. Tam- 
burlaine] ramburlaine O3. 

36. manage] a more technical Marlowe has no precedent for the 

term in Elizabethan than in modern death-scene of Tamburlaine. Most 

English applied to the expert of the historians pass it over 

control of arms, horses or anything with a brief statement of the 

else which can be handled. fact. 

38. note] here with the force of 59. Whose shoulders . . . world] 
the Latin nota, a distinguishing Atlas is more properly described as 
quality or mark. supporting, not the world, but the 

42 seq. What daring god, etc.] heavens and all the stars. 


Theridamas, haste to the court of Jove ; 
Will him to send Apollo hither straight, 
To cure me, or I'll fetch him down myself. 

Tech. Sit still, my gracious lord ; this grief will cease, 
And cannot last, it is so violent. 

Tamb. Not last, Techelles ! no, for I shall die. 
See, where my slave, the ugly monster death. 
Shaking and quivering, pale and wan for fear. 
Stands aiming at me with his murdering dart. 
Who flies away at every glance I give, 70 

And, when I look away, comes stealing on ! 
Villain, away, and hie thee to the field ! 
I and mine army come to load thy bark 
With souls of thousand mangled carcasses. 
Look, where he goes ! but, see, he comes again. 
Because I stay ! Techelles, let us march. 
And weary Death with bearing souls to hell. 

Phy. Pleaseth your majesty to drink this potion. 
Which will abate the fury of your fit. 
And cause some milder spirits govern you. 80 

Tamb. Tell me, what think you of my sickness now ? 

First Phy. I view'd your urine, and the hypostasis, 

Thick and obscure, both make your danger great ; 
Your veins are full of accidental heat, 
Whereby the moisture of your blood is dried : 
The humidum and calor, which some hold 

64. cease] case O3. 73. bark] back{e) O3 O4. 82. hypostasis] Rob. 
etc. Hipostates Oi_4. 85. moisture] moister O3. 

67-71. See where . . . stealing on] the part played by the comet, 
Miss Seaton {R.E.S., p. 398) finds described by Perondinus and others, 
a parallel for these lines in the 73. bark] Death is here tempor- 
description of the man with a arily identified with Charon, 
spear, one of the three portents re- 82. hypostasis] is Robinson's con- 
corded by Andre Thevet, Cosmo- jecture, followed by subsequent 
graphie Universelle {[i^y^], I, i. ^oS) editors, for 'Hipostates' of the 
as preceding the death of Tambur- octavos. 

laine. Marlowe has naturally re- 84. accidental] in excess of the 

jected the description of the ghost necessary and normal degree, 

of Bajazet which terrified the 86. humidum and calor] mois- 

Scythian to death and has reduced ture and warmth, presumably here 


Is not a parcel of the elements, 
But of a substance more divine and pure, 
Is almost clean extinguished and spent ; 
Which, being the cause of life, imports your death. 
Besides, my lord, this day is critical, 91 

Dangerous to those whose crisis is as yours : 
Your artiers, which alongst the veins convey 
The lively spirits which the heart engenders, 
Are parched and void of spirit, that the soul, 
Wanting those organons by which it moves. 
Cannot endure, by argument of art. 
Yet, if your majesty may escape this day, 
No doubt but you shall soon recover all. 
Tamb. Then will I comfort all my vital parts, 100 

And live, in spite of death, above a day. 

Alarm within. 

[Enter a Messenger. 

Mes. My lord, young Callapine, that lately fled from your 
majesty, hath now gathered a fresh army, and, hearing 
your absence in the field, offers to set upon us presently. 

Tamb. See, my physicians, now, how Jove hath sent 
A present medicine to recure my pain ! 
My looks shall make them fly ; and, might I follow. 
There should not one of all the villain's power 

101. S.D. Enter a Messenger] Add. Dyce. 104. upon] on Og. 

in combination and therefore the planation is : ' Your arteries which 

sanguine humour. The physician convey to the veins the sanguine 

goes on to suggest that this humour spirit (i.e. blood) which the heart 

is by some regarded as a divine produces, are dried and empty, so 

essence and not a combination of that your soul is deprived of the 

physical elements. spirit by which it moves and there- 

91. critical] The physician is, fore, by all the rules of the physi- 

presumably, something of an as- cian's art, cannot continue.' It 

trologer and alchemist, and knows may be noted that, in Marlowe's 

by the stars what days are favour- system of physiology, the blood is 

able for certain diseases and for half a physical, half a spiritual 

the attempting of cures. Cf. 11. thing, as the physician himself 

98-9 below. suggests in 11. 86-8 above. 

96. organons] are, properly, ' in- 106. recure] cure, 
struments '. The physician's ex- 


Live to give offer of another fight. 
Usum. I joy, my lord, your highness is so strong, no 

That can endure so well your royal presence, 

Which only will dismay the enemy. 
Tamb. I know it will, Casane. Draw, you slaves ! 

In spite of death, I will go show my face. 

[Alarm. Tamburlaine goes in and comes out again 
with all the rest. 

Tamb. Thus are the villains, cowards fled for fear, 
Like summer's vapours vanished by the sun ; 
And, could I but a while pursue the field. 
That Callapine should be my slave again. 
But I perceive my martial strength is spent : 
In vain I strive and rail against those powers 120 
That mean t' invest me in a higher throne, 
As much too high for this disdainful earth. 
Give me a map ; then let me see how much 
Is left for me to conquer all the world. 
That these, my boys, may finish all my wants. 

[One brings a map. 
Here I began to march towards Persia, 
Along Armenia and the Caspian Sea, 
And thence unto Bithynia, where I took 
The Turk and his great empress prisoners. 
Then marched I into Egypt and Arabia ; 130 

And here, not far from Alexandria, 

122. too] to O3 O4. 128. unto'] to O4. 

115. villains, cowards] the uni- already anticipated the Suez Canal, 

form reading of the octavos ; by cutting a passage through from 

Robinson and most subsequent the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. 

editors would read ' villain ', thus His work was ultimately finished 

making the first word an adjective. by Ptolemy Philadelphus II about 

126 seq. Here I began to march 277 B.C. It silted up for a time, and 

seq.] For comments upon the names was restored by Amron, the Arab 

mentioned here, see the previous conqueror of Egypt, but was 

references in the text, and notes. finally filled up by Ali Mansour in 

1 3 1-5. not far from Alexandria 775. Nearer still to Marlowe's own 

. . . sail to India] Ellis, in com- time came the project of Niccolo da 

menting upon this passage, draws Conti, which the Mameluke Sultans 

attention to Sesostris, who had of Egypt prevented the Vene- 

276 THE SECOND PART OF [act v 

Whereas the Terrene and the Red Sea meet, 

Being distant less than full a hundred leagues, 

I meant to cut a channel to them both, 

That men might quickly sail to India. 

From thence to Nubia near Borno lake. 

And so along the Ethiopian sea. 

Cutting the tropic line of Capricorn, 

I conquered all as far as Zanzibar. 

Then, by the northern part of Africa, 140 

I came at last to Grsecia, and from thence 

To Asia, where I stay against my will ; 

Which is from Scythia, where I first began. 

Backward and forwards near five thousand leagues. 

Look here, my boys ; see what a world of ground 

Lies westward from the midst of Cancer's line 

Unto the rising of this earthly globe. 

Whereas the sun, declining from our sight, 

Begins the day with our Antipodes ! 

And shall I die, and this unconquered ? 150 

Lo, here, my sons, are all the golden mines. 

Inestimable drugs and precious stones. 

More worth than Asia and the world beside ; 

And from th Antarctic Pole eastward behold 

As much more land, which never was descried, 

Wherein are rocks of pearl that shine as bright 

As all the lamps that beautify the sky ! 

And shall I die, and this unconquered ? 

Here, lovely boys, what death forbids my life, 

133. than] then O3 O4. 140. northern] Northren O3 O4. 143. began] 
begun O4. I '^^. five] fine O 3. 147. this] the O4. 153. than] then O^O^. 

tian Republic from, carrying out. of Spanish gold and the riches of 

This latest attempt had probably the fabulous El Dorado), 

come to Marlowe's ears and was 154-5. from th' Antarctic Pole 

added to the list of Tamburlaine's eastward . . . descried] This is the 

schemes and achievements. continent of Australasia never yet 

149, our Antipodes'] here, the ' descried ' but already the subject 

dwellers in the Western Hemi- of vague rumour, 

sphere, and the southern half of it 159-60. what death forbids . . . 

(that is, South America, the source in spite of death] Tamburlaine 


That let your lives command in spite of death. i6o 
Amy. Alas, my lord, how should our bleeding hearts, 

Wounded and broken with your highness' grief. 

Retain a thought of joy or spark of life ? 

Your soul gives essence to our wretched subjects. 

Whose matter is incorporate in your flesh. 
CeL Your pains do pierce our souls ; no hope survives, 

For by your life we entertain our lives. 
Tamh. But sons, this subject, not of force enough 

To hold the fiery spirit it contains. 

Must part, imparting his impressions 170 

By equal portions into both your breasts ; 

My flesh, divided in your precious shapes. 

Shall still retain my spirit, though I die, 

And live in all your seeds immortally. 

Then now remove me, that I may resign 

My place and proper title to my son. 

First, take my scourge and my imperial crown, 

And mount my royal chariot of estate, 

165. incorporate] incorporoatOi. lyi. into] unto O^. ly^. your'] our O^. 

almost regains for a moment in relations of spirit and body is 

these lines and those that precede derived from Aristotle's doctrine 

them, the splendour of his early that the form of the parent is 

years led by wonder and the desire repeated in the offspring. Collier's 

of discovery rather than of aggres- suggested emendation of ' sub- 

sion and destruction. stance ' for ' subject ' in 1. i68 

164-5, 168-74. Your soul . . . seems not to take account of this 

your flesh, this subject . . . immor- phraseology, with which Marlowe 

tally] With these lines may be com- was obviously familiar, 
pared the words of Tamburlaine in 166-7. ^ our pains . . . our lives] 

IV. i. 112-15 (see notes ad loc). The words of Celebinus are a suf&- 

The soul of Tamburlaine has im- cient promise of his future failure 

parted to his sons the spirit that as ruler of his father's empire ; 

animates them, their bodies being indeed, the speeches of the two 

similarly part of his flesh. Tambur- sons throughout this scene suggest 

laine replies that he himself, how- only imitative docility and give no 

ever (' this subject '), is not strong hint of originality. Marlowe must 

enough to hold any longer the have recalled here the accounts of 

fiery spirit it contains and must the historians who, whether they 

divide the power of that spirit commend or disparage the sons of 

(' his impressions ') between his Tamburlaine, agree that they were 

two sons, who are thus the in- incapable of carrying on their 

heritors alike of his body and of father's work. 
his soul. This conception of the 


That I may see thee crown'd before I die. 

Help me, my lords, to make my last remove. i8o 

Ther. A woeful change, my lord, that daunts our thoughts 
More than the ruin of our proper souls. 

Tamh. Sit up, my son, let me see how well 
Thou wilt become thy father's majesty. 

[They crown him. 

Amy. With what a flinty bosom should I joy 
The breath of life and burden of my soul, 
If not resolv'd into resolved pains, 
My body's mortified lineaments 
Should exercise the motions of my heart, 
Pierc'd with the joy of any dignity ! 190 

O father, if the unrelenting ears 
Of death and hell be shut against my prayers, 
And that the spiteful influence of heaven 
Deny my soul fruition of her joy. 
How should I step or stir my hateful feet 
Against the inward powers of my heart. 
Leading a life that only strives to die. 
And plead in vain unpleasing sovereignty ? 

Tamh. Let not thy love exceed thine honour, son. 

Nor bar thy mind that magnanimity 200 

That nobly must admit necessity. 
Sit up, my boy, and with those silken reins 
Bridle the steeled stomachs of those jades. 

182. than] then O3 O4. 183-4. {Pi'i'f^ied as prose in O3 O4.) 188. linea- 
ments'] laments O3 O4. 202. those] these O3 O4. 203. those] these O3 O4. 

185-90. With what a flinty bosom that was touched to joy by such 
. . . any dignity] This passage is a things as earthly dignities.' The 
httle obscure, partly, I think, from idea behind the words ' burden ' 
extreme condensation. Amyras's and ' mortified ' is slightly con- 
words may be interpreted : ' How fused ; Amyras, while describing 
hard a heart I should have if the insensitiveness that must have 
I could enjoy my life and the been his had he rejoiced at this 
possession of my soul and if my moment, applies to himself words 
body were not dissolved in extreme that indicate the suffering, incon- 
pain (1. 187) and sympathetically sistent with that insensitiveness, 
afflicted (1. 188) and could still which he does indeed feel, 
direct the movements of a heart 


Ther. My lord, you must obey his majesty, 
Since fate commands and proud necessity. 

Amy. Heavens witness me with what a broken heart 
And damned spirit I ascend this seat. 
And send my soul, before my father die, 
His anguish and his burning agony ! 

Tamh. Now fetch the hearse of fair Zenocrate ; 210 

Let it be plac'd by this my fatal chair. 
And serve as parcel of my funeral. 

Usum. Then feels your majesty no sovereign ease. 

Nor may our hearts, all drown'd in tears of blood, 
Joy any hope of your recovery ? 

Tamh. Casane, no ; the monarch of the earth. 
And eyeless monster that torments my soul, 
Cannot behold the tears ye shed for me, 
And therefore still augments his cruelty. 

Tech. Then let some god oppose his holy power 220 

Against the wrath and tyranny of death. 
That his tear-thirsty and unquenched hate 
May be upon himself reverberate ! 

[They bring in the hearse. 

Tamh. Now, eyes, enjoy your latest benefit. 

And, when my soul hath virtue of your sight. 

Pierce through the coffin and the sheet of gold, 

And glut your longings with a heaven of joy. 

So reign, my son ; scourge and control those slaves, 

Guiding thy chariot with thy father's hand. 

As precious is the charge thou undertak'st 230 

As that which Clymene's brain-sick son did guide 

230. undertak'st] undetakest O^ undertakest O^. 231. Clymene's'] Clymeus 
Oi O3 O4. 

225. when my soul hath virtue of power of vision now vested only 

your sight] The implication in this in the eyes of his body, he will see 

line is the familiar stoic belief that the spirit of Zenocrate. 

the body and its senses clog the 231. Clymene's brain-sick son] 

spirit, which will exercise finer See I, iv. ii. 49, and note. Here 

spiritual senses when it is freed again the octavos read Clymeus, 

from the body. When Tambur- with the exception of Og. 
laine's soul is freed and has the 


When wandering Phoebe's ivory cheeks were scorched, 
And all the earth, like ^tna, breathing fire. 
Be warned by him, then ; learn with awful eye 
To sway a throne as dangerous as his ; 
For, if thy body thrive not full of thoughts 
As pure and fiery as Phyteus' beams. 
The nature of these proud rebelling jades 
Will take occasion by the slenderest hair, 
And draw thee piecemeal, like Hippolytus, 240 

Through rocks more steep and sharp than Caspian clifts : 
The nature of thy chariot will not bear 
A guide of baser temper than myself. 
More than heaven's coach the pride of Phaeton. 
Farewell, my boys ! my dearest friends, farewell ! 
My body feels, my soul doth weep to see 
Your sweet desires depriv'd my company. 
For Tamburlaine, the scourge of God, must die. 
Amy. Meet heaven and earth, and here let all things end. 
For earth hath spent the pride of all her fruit, 250 
And heaven consumed his choicest living fire ! 
Let earth and heaven his timeless death deplore. 
For both their worths will equal him no more. 


232. Phoebe's] Phoebus O4. 239. slenderesf] slenderst O3. 240. thee] 
me O4. 243. than] then O3 O4. 

236. Here there is, for a moment, 240. For the story of Hippolytus, 

a complete recovery of the Tambur- the account of Virgil {Aen., vii. 

laine of the earlier play, ' Like his 761) and Seneca's play are likelier 

desire, lift upward and divine.' sources than Euripides. 

Phyteus] Pythius, an unusual form, 249-53. Meet heaven and earth 

but the spelling ' Phyton ' for . . . him no more] An epitaph worthy 

' Python ' occurs in Lydgate's of a nobler object than the Tam- 

Warres of Troy (II. sig. as burlaine of the later play. The 

Dyce pointed out : ' And of Phy- general effect of these lines is very 

ton that Phoebus made thus fine.' close to the choric epitaph of 

Lydgate's reference is to Python, Faustus. 

the fabulous serpent slain by 252. timeless] untimely, occurring 

Apollo, Marlowe's to Apollo him- out of its due time. N.E.D. cites 

self, Pythius, named thus from the Trag. Richard, 11. (1560) : ' lie 

slaying of the serpent, revenge thy^tymlesse tragedye.' 



IN discussing the relations of the three then known texts of 
Tamburlaine in 1885/ Wagner demonstrated that the edition 
then known as the octavo of 1592 was derived from the 
1590 (taking over a large number of its errors). Nothing has 
occurred since to suggest that it might be derived rather from 
any hypothetical intermediate edition, or independently from 
the same manuscript source, or, much less, from a different 
manuscript. Wagner's conclusion continues to stand. He then 
went on to demonstrate that the 1605/6 edition could not pos- 
sibly be derived from the 1593 (1592), for none of the 130 errors 
(which he tabulated) by which the 1593 differ from the 1590, 
appear in 1605/6. In the absence of any other known edition, 
this led Wagner to his next conclusion, that 1605/6 must bear 
the same relation to 1590 as 1593 does, a conclusion which 
appeared to be confirmed by his note of some sixty-two apparent 
errors, appearing in all three editions. ^ It is interesting to be 
able to add to-day that in all these cases, without exception, 
the 1597 reading agrees with those of 1590, 1593 and 1605/6 
even when they appear manifest errors, so that the supposition 
that the 1597 was intermediate between the 1590 and the 1605/6 
is not invalidated by Wagner's evidence. 

A consideration of the collations, indeed, makes the position 
of the 1597 octavo clear. In Part I of the play, for example, 
the 1597 text agrees with the 1590 only or with the 1590 and 
one other, in about 35 per cent, of the total number of varia- 
tions, whereas it never once agrees with the 1593 alone and only 
in about 22 per cent, cases with the 1593 in conjunction also 

^ Marlowes Werke. i. Tamburlaine. Introduction, pp. xxiii-xxxi. 

2 A few of the versions which Wagner classifies as errors have been 
retained in the present edition as they seem, in the Hght of later criticism, 
to represent normal Elizabethan usages. 



with the 1590 or the 1605/6. This suggests clearly that it is 
derived from the 1590 rather than from the 1593. Further, 
correspondence between 1593 and 1605/6 exclusively is, as has 
been shown by Wagner, extremely rare (about i per cent.) as is 
also that between 1605/6 and 1590 only (less than 7 per cent .) . But 
the correspondences between 1597 and 1605/6 exclusively amount 
to 26 per cent, of the cases noted and those between 1597 and 
1605/6 in combination with one other edition amount to some 
43 per cent, cases. This suggests equally clearly that the 1597 
text and not the 1590 or 1593 is the immediate source of the 
1605/6 text. 

Statistics such as these are liable to mislead unless we can 
be sure that the cases we have examined are all deliberately 
introduced and not fortuitous variations, but one or two instances 
of resemblance between 1597 and 1-605/6 to which my atten- 
tion was drawn by Professor Tucker Brooke, taken in conjunc- 
tion with the foregoing evidence, place the matter in a less 
dubious light. In a certain number of cases the 1597 reading 
appears clearly intermediate to that of 1590 (or 1590 + i593) 
and 1605/6. Thus, in Part I, iv. iv. 44 where 1590 and 1593 
read * slice ' , 1^97 reads * flice ', explaining the nonsensical 
version 'fleece' of 1605. ^ But even more conclusive is the 
evidence of Part II, i. i. 63-4, where, as Professor Brooke says, 
1. 63, ' Is in 1597 the last line on page F, (recto). The catch- 
word is " Illici = " ; but 1. 118 ^ is inserted as the first line of 
F7 (verso), i.e. in the same erroneous sequence as in ed. 1606. 
The catchword at the foot of Fg (recto) is " Fred ", but Fg 
(verso) commences with 1. 119.^ Thus the confused order of 
lines in ed. 1606 is explained : the edition of 1597 transposed 
line 118 2 from the top of Fg (verso) to the top of F7 (verso), after 
the catchwords had been properly indicated. The printer of 
1606 simply followed what he found in ed. 1597.* 

In conclusion, then, the relations may be summarized thus : 
The text of 1590 is the editio prtnceps from which are derived, 
independently of each other, 1593 and 1597. The 1605/6 is 
derived from 1597. 

^ See also the reading cottges (1597) in the important and much-dis- 
cussed Une, V. ii. 124 and Part II, i. i. 29. 

^ The numbering here runs continuously from the beginning of Part II. 



(a) Collected 

1. 1826. The Works of Christopher Marlowe. 3 vols. London. 

1826. W. Pickering. 8vo. 

No editor's name appears in this edition, but it has always 
been assumed to be by George Robinson. The edition is care- 
lessly supervised and appears to have been put together with 
little regard for accuracy or even veracity. Dyce, coming after 
it, says : * I characterize it as abounding in the grossest errors,' ^ 
and Professor Brooke sums up its editor's position when he says : 
* Marlowe scholarship owes a considerable debt to his publishers, 
but practically nothing to him.' 2 It is in his copy of this edition 
that J. Broughton's valuable MS. notes on Marlowe's life and 
works are to be found. ^ 

2. 1850. The Works of Christopher Marlowe, with notes and 

some account of his life and writings. 3 vols. 8vo, by the 
Rev. Alexander Dyce. London. Wm. Pickering. 1850. 
(i vol. 1858.) 

The introduction and notes to this edition contain much 
material which is still of great value. It is unlikely, as Professor 
Brooke says, ' that any other book will ever bring together more 
new information relating to this writer.' * The value of the text 
is a little diminished by the fact that Dyce set up his version 
from the 1593 octavo, a text which has been shown elsewhere ^ 
to be full of errors which are not common to the other texts. 
Dyce knew of the existence of the Bodleian copy of the 1590 
octavo, but assumed, somewhat casually, that ' Perhaps the 
8vo at Oxford and that in the British Museum (for I have not 
had an opportunity of comparing them) are the same impression 
differing only in the title-pages ® ', a statement of which the 

^ The Works of Christopher Marlowe, etc. (1850). Preface. 
2 The Reputation of Christopher Marlowe, p. 390. 
3B.M. 11771. d. 4. 

* Reputation, p. 405, 

^ See Introduction and Appendix A. 

• The Works of Christopher Marlowe (1858), p. 3. 


portion enclosed in brackets drew from Collier the laconic pencil 
note ' Why not ? ' i 

3. 1870. The Works of Christopher Marlowe . . . with notes 

and introduction by Lt.-Col. Francis Cunningham. 1870. 

This edition has some interesting notes upon the military 
terms in the play, but in other respects falls far below Dyce's 
edition and is based, of course, upon the same unsatisfactory 
1593 text (though apparently only indirectly through Dyce's 
text.) 2 Cunningham also mentions a fictitious 1590 octavo 
in the Garrick collection of the British Museum Library, appar- 
ently meaning to refer to the 1593.^ 

4. 1885. The Works of Christopher Marlowe, edited by A. H. 

BuUen, B.A. London, 1885. 3 vols. 

The assumption that the 1590 and 1593 texts could be, for 
practical purposes, regarded as identical, persists also in this 
edition,* though BuUen examined for himself the 1593 ^^^ 
1605/6 texts. The introduction contains one of the best general 
critical estimates of Marlowe that appears in any edition, though 
Bullen's enthusiastic praise tends to exalt Marlowe at the 
expense of other pre-Shakespearian dramatists. 

5. 1885. The Dramatic Works of Christopher Marlowe [selected) 

with a prefatory notice, Biographical and Critical. By 
Percy E. Pinkerton. London. Walter Scott. 1885. 

Tamburlaine is here represented by selections only. The 
introduction has some interesting suggestions and the editor's 
comments upon the lyric power of Tamburlaine are more judicious 
than some of his more general reflections. 

6. 1887. Christopher Marlowe (The Best Plays of the Old Drama- 

tists : Mermaid Series), ed. Havelock Ellis. 1887. 

This edition again adds little to the elucidation of the text. 

1 See the copy B.M. 11 771. 666. 6, which contains J. P. Collier's pencil 

2 On the condition of the text in this edition, Wagner speaks with some 
vigour : ' Ich habe Veranlassung gehabt, den Tamburlaine-text Cunning- 
hams genau durchzupriifen und finde keine einzige Stelle, die darauf 
hindeutete, dass er eine der alten Ausgaben auch nur angesehen hat.' 
(Einleitung, XXXV.) 

^The Works of Christopher Marlowe, p. 309. 
* See Vol. I, pp. 3-4. 


Its strength lies in the fine critical appreciations of Ellis and of 
J. A. Symonds (who contributed the general introduction to the 
series) and of occasional comments of the same kind in the 

7-9. 1 905-1 909. Three serviceable reprints of Tamburlaine 
in collected editions of Marlowe's works were produced by 
Newnes (The Plays and Poems of Christopher Marlowe. 1905), 
by Routledge [Marlowe's Dramatic Works. [1906]) and by 
Dent in Everyman's Library (The Plays of Christopher 
Marlowe. 1909) with the valuable addition of the True 

10. 1 910. The Works of Christopher Marlowe, edited by C. F. 
Tucker Brooke. Oxford. 1910. 

This is the standard edition of Marlowe's collected works 
and the text of Tamburlaine here presented is a more reliable 
reproduction of the 1590 text than is that of Wagner. The 
collations are not in all respects so exhaustive as those of Wagner, 
but the later editor has availed himself of much subsequent 
textual criticism and conjecture and has produced a text which 
only departs from 1590 in cases of strict necessity. This volume 
and that of Wagner are the only attempts that have been 
made to present a textually precise version of this play, while 
the introduction to the play sums up what was then known 
on the subject of its date, texts, stage history, authorship and 

11. 1912. Christopher Marlowe (Masterpieces of English Drama), 

ed. F. E. Schelling. With an introduction by W. L. Phelps. 

(b) Separate Editions 

I. 1818. An edition was apparently prepared by J. Broughton, 
but seems not to have been published. Professor Brooke has 
not been able to trace a copy of it,^ and the only contemporary 
mention of it known to me is Broughton 's MS. note in his copy 
of the 1826 edition of Marlowe's works : ^ * In an edition of 
Tamburlaine printed (but not published) 1818, I enumerated 
various circumstances which had occasioned me to be sceptical 
as to Marlowe's property in the play.' 

1 The Reputation of Christopher Marlowe, p. 389. 

2 See Vol. I, p. xxi. B.M. 11771. d. 4. 


2. 1885. Marlowes Werke : i. Tamhurlaine. her. v. Albrecht 
Wagner. Heilbronn. 1885. 

This is the first attempt to estabHsh accurately a text that 
should serve as the basis for future editions of this play, to 
examine the states and relations of the three then known early 
editions and to show, by an exhaustive series of collations, what 
were the variants and upon what material the deductions in 
the introduction were based. Following upon the article by the 
editor and Dr. C. H. Herford in the Academy two years earlier, 
there is also some account of the relation of Marlowe's text to 
two of its sources with reproductions of significant passages. No 
separate critical edition of Tamhurlaine of any importance has 
followed Wagner's, but there may be mentioned here (3-5) the 
acting version prepared for the Yale University Dramatic 
Association in 1919, the plain text edited by W. A. Neilson in 
1924, and the selected scenes edited by A. A. Cock {Black's 
English Literature Series) in 1927. 

THE FORESTE. (Book II, Chap. xiv. 1571.) 

\The Foreste or Collection of Histories no lesse profitable than pleasant 
and necessarie, dooen out of Frenche into Englische, by Thomas Fortescue, 
is not a literal version of Mexia's life of Tamhurlaine. Silva de Varia 
Lection, by Pedro Mexia, appeared first in Seville in 1542, and was reprinted 
and translated frequently for the rest of the century. The first translator 
was apparently Mambrino da Fabriano, whose volume La selva di varia 
lettione (1544) translates the Spanish fairly closely but abridges an impor- 
tant repetition of Mexia's. In the original, the story of ^Bajazet's relations 
with Tamhurlaine is twice told, once in Part I, Chapter xiv, and again in 
the main entry under ' Tamhurlaine ' in Part II, Chapter xxviii. Mam- 
brino, having translated the description of Tamburlaine's treatment of 
Bajazet at his meals and his use of him as a footstool in the first part, so 
abbreviates this passage in the second that no reference to the ' footstool ' 
is found in the second version, though it is translated accurately (from 
Mexia's practically similar earlier account) in the first part. In 1552 
Claude Gruget translated the book into French, using, as he implies, the 
Spanish and the Italian, but, as we suspect, mainly the Italian. In the 
passages that concern Bajazet and Tamhurlaine, at least, he follows the 
Italian faithfully, even to the abridging of the same passage in the life of 
Tamhurlaine. He tells us ' . . . j'y ay donne quelque peu du mien en 
des passages qui, selon mon jugement, le requeroient.' More probably, 
he, like Fielding's Author, preferred to translate his Virgil out of Dryden. 
Fortescue (whose version of the life of Tamhurlaine is given here) 
follows the same high-handed method with his original, with one notable 
advance, that he omits a series of five chapters in Part I, the last of which 
happens to be that which alone preserved the full account of the Turkish 


emperor's fate. So that the story, by the time it reached English readers, 
had lost, by a gradual process of abridgement and omission, one essential 
detail at least of Mexia's story. The most important differences between 
Fortescue's version and Mexia's will be indicated, where they occur, in 
the footnotes.] 

FoRTEScuE Chap. 14 

There hath been amonge the Grekes, Romaines, the people 
of Carthage, and others, mightie [innitfie], worthy and famous 
capitaines, which as they were right vaHaunt, and fortunate 
in war : so were they no lesse fortunate, in that some 
others by writynge commended their chiualrie to the pos- 
teritie for euer. But in our tyme we haue had one, in no 
respect inferiour to any of the others, in this one pointe not 
withstandyng lesse happie, that no man hath vouchsaued, 
by hys penne in any sorte to commende him, to the pos- 
teritie following. So that I, who moste desired some 10 
thynge to speake of hym, haue been forced to gether here, 
and there little peeces, and pamphlets, scarce lendyng you 
any shewe of his conquirous exploytes, the same also con- 
fusely, and with out any order. This then, of whom we 
speake, was that greate and mightie Tamhurlaine : who 
in hys tender yeres was a poore labourer, or husbandman, or 
(as other some report e) a common Soldiar, how be it, in the 
ende he became Lorde, of suche greate kingdomes and seig- 
nories, that he in no pointe was inferiour to that prince of 
the worlde, Alexander : or if he were, he yet came nexte him 20 
of any other, that euer lined. He raigned in the yere of our 
Lord God, a thousande, three hundred fower score and 
tenne. Some suppose that he was a Parthian borne, a people 
lesse honorable, then dread of the Romaines : his father 
[farher] and mother, were verie poore, and needie : he not- 
withstanding was of honest and vertuous conditions, wel 
fewtred, valiant, healthie, quicke and nimble, sharpe witted 

16. The sory of Tamburlaine's feat, and Marlowe alone, treating 

low birth is popular with the it as high poetry and not as his- 

European historians and appears tory or romance, has induced us to 

in the accounts of Chalcondylas, give to it that willing suspension 

Fregoso, Cambinus, Cuspinian, of disbelief for the moment which 

Perondinus, Curio, Granucci, etc. can accept it. 

It is unhistorical and does not 24. Fortescue has mistranslated, 

appear in the majority of the Mexia reads : ' Gente que tan 

eastern sources. Although it serves temida fue en tiempo de los 

at first glance, to heighten the Romanos, y que estava ya olvi- 

miraculous impression of the saga, dada ' ; Mambrino, ' gente cosi 

it is manifestly an impossible temuta nel campo di Romani et 


also, of ripe, and mature deliberation, and iudgement, 

imaginyng, and deuising, haute and greate enterprises, euen 

in that his most, and extreame penurie, as though he some 

times shoulde be a maister of many thinges. He was of a 

valiant and inuincible corage, so that from his Cradle, and 

infancie, it seemed he was vowed to Mars and merciall 

affaires onely. Where vnto he gaue hym selfe, with suche 

paineful indeuour, that hardlye a man might iudge, whether 

he were more happie in deede, in advised counsel [cousel], 

or princely dexteritie. By meane of which his vertues, and lo 

others, that we shall here after remember, he in shorte tyme 

acquired such honour, and reputation, as is to be supposed 

man neuer shall do againe. His first beginning was, as 

writeth Baptista Fulgotius, that beyng the soonne of a poore 

manne, kepying cattle in the filde, liuyng there with other 

boyes of his age, and condition, was chosen in sport by the 

others for their kyng, and althought they had made in deede, 

this their election in plaie, he whose spirites were rauished, 

with greate, and high matters, forst theim to swere to him 

loialtie in al thinges, obeying hym as king, wher, or when, 20 

it should please hym, in any matter to commaunde theim. 

After this othe then, in solemne sorte ministred, he charged 

cache of theim forthwith, to sell their troope and cattell, 

leaning this seruile and base trade of life, seeking to serue in 

warre acceptyng hym for capitaine : whiche indeede they did, 

beyng quickly assembled of other worke men, and past ours, 

to the full number, at leaste, of fine hundred : with whom the 

firste attempte, that euer he tooke in hande, was that they 

robde all suche marchauntes as anie where paste nigh theim, 

and after he imparted the spoyle so iustlie, that all his com- 30 

panions serued hym, with no lesse faithe then loue, and 

loyaltie, whiche occasioned sundrie others, a newe to seeke, 

and followe hym. Of whiche newes in the ende, the Kinge 

hoggi cosi poco ricordata ' ; Gruget, 14. See Baptiste Fulgosi [=Fre- 

' peuple tant redoute du temps des goso] de dictis factisque memorabili- 

Romains, et neanmoins peu re- bus (1518), Book III. Section 

nommez ' (which shows incidentally ' De iis qui humili fortuna orti 

that Gruget occasionally trans- clarum sibi nomen vendicarunt.' 

lated or mistranslated directly from The episode which follows is not 

the Spanish). mentioned by Marlowe, though it 

1. seq. The description of Tam- appears also in Perondinus. The 

burlaine's character here is a cento germ of the story is to be found in 

of comments from European his- the Timur-N ameh of Arabshah. 

torians which tally in many respects 29. Compare Taw&wy/aiwe, Part I, 

with those of the more favourable Act i. Sc. ii. 
oriental accounts. 


of Persia aduertised, sent forth vnder the conducte of one, 
of his capitaines, a thousande horses well appointed to appre- 
hende and take hym : at whose commyng he so well knewe 
in this matter howe to beare hym, that of his enimie he soone 
had made hym, his assured frende, and companion : in suche 
sorte that they ioigned both their companies together, 
attempting, then before, enterprises much more greate, and 
more difhcill. In the meane tyme a certaine discorde, or 
breache of amitie grewe, betwixte the Kyng of Persia and 
his brother, by occasion where of Tamburlaine tooke parte lo 
with the Kynges brother, where he so ordered the matter 
in suche sorte, that he deposed the King and aduaunced the 
Dther. After this, by this newe prince, in recompence of 
his seruice, he was ordained generall of the greater parte 
3f his armie who vnder pretexte that he woulde conquire, 
ind [ad] subdue, other prouinces to the Persians, mustered 
still, and gathered, more Souldiars at hys pleasure, with 
ivhom he so practised, that they easely reuolted like Rebels 
followyng hym, subduyng their Leage, and Soueraigne. This 
^au5mge no we deposed, whom he before aduaunced, he 20 
:rouned hymself Kyng and Lorde of that countrie. Now 
moued with compassion, towardes his owne countrie, whiche 
[ong tymes had been tributorie, to the Princes of Persia, and 
to the Sarrazins, did theim to be free, from all seruice, and 
exactions, lott5mg to theim for Prince him selfe, and none 
Dther. After this consideryng with him selfe, that he pres- 
sntlie hadde gathered a houge and greate armie, moued 
priuie mutenies and rebellions in other countries, by meanes 
ivherof, in prosis of tyme he conquired Syria, Armenia, 
Babylon, Mesopotamia, Scythia Asiatica, Albania and Media, 30 
kvith others, manie territories, riche also and famous cities. 
\nd although we finde written nothing, of any his warres 
^hatsoeuer, yet is it to be presumed that he fought many 
1 bataile in open filde with the ennimie, before he had 
mbdued so many, kingdomes and territories : for as muche 

2. seq. The following episode, ize with his character as the eternal 

;o 1. 21, appears in Fregoso, Mexia, conqueror. Perondinus and Cam- 

Perondinus and Primaudaye only, binus (= Shute) both mention 

md is followed closely by Mar- Tamburlaine 's freeing of his own 

owe. country specifically. 

24. Marlowe omits this epi- 34. seq. These battles are in 

iode and altogether reduces Tarn- fact chronicled at considerable 

Durlaine's affection for his own length by his oriental biographers, 

country, which would not harmon- who were not available to Mexia. 


as all those that remember of hym anie thyng, commende to 
vs the haute exploytes, of this moste valiaunte personage, 
and farther that hee so circumspectly ordered his companie, 
that in his Campe was neuer knowen, any brawle, or mutenie. 
He was verie courteous, liberall, doyng honour to all menne, 
accordynge to their demerites that woulde accompanie, 
or follow him, feared therefore equally, and loued of the 
people. He so painfullie, and with suche care instructed his 
Souldiars, that in an instante alwaies, if it were behouefull, 
either by sounde of Trompette, or any other, one, onely signe lo 
geuen, euerie man was founde in his charge, or quarter, 
yea though his armie were sutche, so greate, and so nu- 
merous, as neuer besides him selfe, conducted anie other. 
In fewe his Campe resembled one of the best, and richest 
Cities in the worlde, for all kinde of offices were there founde 
in order, as also greate heapes of marchauntes to furnishe 
it with all necessaries. He in no case permitted any rob- 
beries, priuie figgyng, force, or violence, but with seueritie 
and rigour punished, whom soeuer he founde thereof, giltie, 
or culpable, by meanes where of his Campe, was no worse 20 
of all prouisions furnished, then the best Citie in the worlde, 
in time of most safe, and assured securitie. His desire was, 
that his Soldiars shoulde euermore glory, in their martiall 
prowes, their vertue, and wisedome onely. He paide them 
their salerie, and wage, without fraude, he honoured, he 
praised, he imbrast, and kiste theim, kepyng theim not- 
withstandyng in awe and subiection. This beyng king 
nowe and Emperour, of sundrie Realmes, and Countries in 
Asia, greate troupes came to him still, out of euery quarter, 
besides these that were in anie respect his subiectes, for the 30 
onely fame, of his honour, and vertue. So that his Campe 
grewe in short time to be greater, then euer was that of Darius 

4. The orderliness of his camp compared with Clavijo's descrip- 
and the excellence of his disci- tion of the permanent camp out- 
pline are facts noted almost uni- side Samarqand. There is no 
versally by his biographers east- reason why Mexia, the Sevillian 
ern and western. Without their historian and cosmographer, should 
superlative military organization, not have read one of the many 
the conquests of the great Tartar MS. copies of the account of 
Khans could not have been achieved. Timur's capital written by Henry 

5. Here, again, all but a few Hi's ambassador, but it is a little 
of his most bitter enemies agree in puzzling to find him make no use 
attributing liberality and gener- of it (except perhaps in this pass- 
osity to Tamburlaine. age) and give no reference to it in 

14-17. This passage may be his list of authorities. 


or Xerxes, for soche as write of hym, reporte that he had fower 
hundred thousand horsemen, but of foote men a greater 
number, by two hundred thousande more, whiche all he ladde 
with him, at the conqueste of Asia the lesse : where of the 
greate Turke advertised, who then hight Baiaceth, Lorde and 
Prince of that countrie, but present then in person, at the 
siege of Constantinople, hauyng a little before subdued 
sundrie prouinces, and partes of Grece, with other territories 
adiacent, and Tounes there aboute, thence growen to more 
wealth, and more feared, then any Prince in the world, was lo 
neuer the lesse constrained to raise his siege incontinentlie, 
passyng thence into Asia with all his armie, taking vppe 
still by the way, as many as was possible, so that as some 
afhrme, he had as many horsemen as had the greate Tarn- 
burlaine, with a merueilous number of other Souldiars, bothe 
olde, and of much experience, especially by meanes of the 
continuall warres, which he had still with the christians. 
This Baiaceth now like a good, and like an expert Capitaine, 
seing that he no waie els might resiste, this puissante Em- 
perour, determined to meete him, and to geue hym present 20 
battaile, hauyng merueilous affiance in the approued man- 
hoode, and vertue of his Souldiars. Wherefore marchyng 
on within fewe dales, they mette cache with other vppon 
the confines of Armenia, where both of theim, orderyng as 
became good Capitaines their people, beganne in the breake 
of day, the most cruell, and most terrible battaile that earst 
was euer harde of, consideryng the nomber on both partes, 
their .experience, and pollicie, with the valiant currage, and 
prowes of their capitaines. This continued they in fighte 
euen almoste vntill night, with merueilous sloughter on bothe 30 
sides, the victorie yet doubtfull, til, in the ende the Turkes 
beganne to fainte and to flee, more indeede opprest with 
the multitude, then that thei feared or other wise, the moste 

I. seq. The historians almost place it at or near Ancora. Thus, 
universally emphasize the mag- ' Ancyre ' (Chalcondylas, Ducas, 
nitude of both armies, the balance Schiltberger), ' Engurim ' (Leun- 
of the conflict, the courage of clavius), ' Phrygia ' (Phrantzes), 
the Turks and the heroism of ' Mount Stella ' in ' Bithynia ' (Cus- 
Bajazet. Marlowe naturally re- pinian, Giovio (= Ashton) ; Peron- 
duces the size of Tamburlaine's dinus ; Curio (= Newton) ; Gran- 
army and, less happily, the valour ucci). ' On the confines of Armenia ' 
and nobility of Bajazet. (Cuspinian, an alternative ; Cambi- 

24. The position of the battle nus ; Perondinus). Arabshah and 

is variously named, but by far Kwand Amir also refer to ' Ancre ' 

the larger number of historians and ' Angurieh '. 



parte of theim with honour dijnig manfully in the filde : and 

as one reporteth two hundred thousand were taken prisoners, 

after the battaile was ended, the residue [resude] slaine, 

and fiedde for their better safetie. Whiche Baiaceth, of 

parte perceiuyng before the ende, how it woulde waie, to 

courage his people, and to withdrawe theim from flight, 

resisted in person valiantly the furious rage of the enimie. 

How be it, he therby gained such, and so many knokes, 

that as he was in the ende, in deede vnhorste, so was he 

for lake of reskewe presented to the greate Tamburlaine, lo 

who incontinently closed hym vppe, in a Kaege of yron, 

carriynge hym still with hym, whither soeuer he after wente, 

pasturyng hym with the croomes, that fell from hys table, 

and with other badde morselles, as he had been a dogge : 

whence assuredly we may learne not so much to afhe in 

riches, or in the pompe of this world : for as muche as he 

that yesterdaie was Prince and Lorde, of all the worlde 

almost, is this dale fallen into suche extreame miserie, that 

' Y assi llevado en presencia del 
Tamorlan el qual gozando todo lo 
possible de la victoria, le hizo hazer 
muy fuertes cadenas, y una jaula 
donde dormia de noche, y assi 
aprisionado cada vez que comia, 
le hazia poner debaxo de la mesa 
como a lebrel, y de lo que el echava 
de la mesa le hazia comer : y que 
de solo aquello se mantuviesse. 
Y quando cavalgava, lo hazia 
traer, que se abaxasse y pusiesse 
de manera, que poniendole el pie 
encima, subiesse el en su cavallo.' 
This Mambrino abridges thus : 
' Et condotto al conspetto del 
Tamorlano lo fece mettere in una 
fortissima gabbia di ferro, con esso 
lui conducendoselo, et pascendolo 
delle miche che della mensa gli 
cadeva, et dei pezzi di pane che 
k guisa di cane (come habbiamo 
nella vita di Baiazetho) gli porgeva 
. . .' which, with two slight altera- 
tions, is what appears in Fortes- 
cue's translation. The omission 
of the ' footstool ' here is excep- 
tional (but has been explained 
above) ; it is faithfully reproduced 
by Cambinus (and Shute), Cus- 
pinian, Perondinus, Sagundinus, 
Curio (and Newton), Granucci, 
Ashton and Primaudaye, besides 

II. seq. In many of the Oriental 
accounts Tamburlaine received Ba- 
jazet courteously and even allowed 
him a certain amount of liberty. 
According to the late and mainly 
Turkish accounts of Leunclavius 
and Podesta, he subtly induced the 
fiery Turk to condemn himself by 
asking what Bajazet would have 
done to him (Tamburlaine) if the 
positions had been reversed. Ba- 
jazeth answered angrily that he 
would have shut him up in an iron 
cage ; an iron cage was, not un- 
naturally, provided immediately. 
Phrantzes is apparently respon- 
sible for the earliest mention of the 
iron cage (probably, as Hammer- 
Purgstall points out, through a 
misinterpretation of the Turkish 
' kafes ', ' litter '), and he is fol- 
lowed literally by Pius II, Giovio, 
Perondinus, Granucci, Mambrino, 
Gruget, and Fortescue, though 
Mexia distinctly mentions a wooden 
cage (' jaula de madera ') in his 
first account and leaves the mater- 
ial unspecified (as do Cuspinian 
and Curio) in his second. It is at 
this point in the story that Mam- 
brino's abridgement and Fortes- 
cue's omission in conjunction be- 
come of some interest. Mexia's 
version of this passage runs : 


he liueth worse then a dogge, fellowe to theim in companie, 
and that by the meanes of him that was some tymes a 
poore Sheaperde or if you rather will, as some reporte, a 
meane souldiour, who after as we see aspired to suche honour, 
that in hys time none was founde that durst, or coulde abide 
hym : the other that descended of noble race or linage, con- 
strained, to hue an abiecte, in most lothsum, and vile serui- 
tude. This tragidie might suffice, to withdrawe men, from 
this transitorie pompe, and honour, acquaintyng theim- 
selues with Heauen and with heauenly thinges onely. Now lo 
this greate Tamhurlaine, this mightie Prince, and Emperour, 
ouer ranne all Asia the lesse, to the Turke before subiect, 
thence turning towards Egypte, conquired also Syria, Phenicia, 
and Palestina, with all other Cities on their borders, of what 
side so euer, and besides these Smirna, Antioch, Tripolis, 
Sebasta, and Damascus. After warde being come, with al his 
armie into Egypte, the Soudan, and the kyng of Arabia, with 
sundrie other Princes, assembled altogether, and presented 
hym battaile, but in the ende to their inspecable detrement 
discomfited, were slaine, and spoiled at the pleasure of the 20 
ennimie : by meane where of the Soudan saued hymself by 
flight. How be it, Tamburlaine had easely taken from hym 
all Egypte, hadde it not been, for the greate, and inacces- 
sible, desertes in that country, through whiche to passe with 
so puisante an armie, was either impossible, or at the leaste 
verie difficill, not withstandyng he subdued all suche partes 
of the Countrie as were next hym. Some report of hym, 
that he then hym helde best contented, when he founde 
his ennimy moste strong, and best able to resist hym, to 
thende he might be occasioned, to make proofe of hymself, 30 
what he was able to doe, and how muche in his necessitie : 
that whiche well chaunced hym at the citie of Da- 
mascus. For after he had taken the most honourable, and 

10. Marlowe's use of this and generally assign it to the campaign 
similar passages is not, of course, immediately preceding. 

the same as Mexia's ; the ideas, 33. The siege of Damascus, 

however, recur in Zenocrate's one of Timur's most notorious 

speech Part I. v. ii. 1. 285 feats, seems to have been known to 

seq. all his historians. The Europeans, 

11. seq. Marlowe condenses the however, have a pallid version of 
action here and passes on at once the story compared with the 
to the siege of Damascus. The Orientals. Only Schiltberger and 
European historians invariably Podesta describe the slaughtering 
put this siege after the defeat of of the priests in the burning 
Bajazet, whereas the Orientals temple and the tower of heads 



most valiante personages of the citie, the others retired into 
a certaine Cast ell or Holde, suche, and so stronge, that all 
menne accompted it impregnable, where, neuer the lesse, de- 
sirous to growe, to some composition with hym, were vtterly 
refused, no intreatie preuailyng, so that in fine, they muste 
needes fight it out, or yelde theim to his mercie. And 
findyng no place, where he by any meanes might assaulte 
it, built e faste by it an other more high and stronge then 
that, where he so painfully, and in suche sorte dispatchte it, 
that the ennimie by no meanes colde or lette or annoie hym, lo 
so that his Forte in the ende or equall, or rather higher then 
the other, beganne his batterie, suche, and so cruell, that 
it neuer ceaste dale nor night, vntill at last he had taken 
it. It is writen of him, that in all his assaultes, of any 
castell or citie, he vsually would hang out to be seen of the 
enimie, an Enseigne white, for the space of one full dale, whiche 
signified, (as was then to all men well knowen) that if those 
within, woulde in that daye yelde theim, he then woulde 
take theim to mercie, without any their losse of life or goods. 
The seconde dale hee did to bee hanged out an other all redde, 20 
lettyng thoym thereby againe to vnderstande, that if they 
then woulde yelde, he onelie then woulde execute Th'officers, 
Magistrates, maisters of housholdes and gouemours, par- 
donyng, and forgeuyng all others whatsoeuer. The thirde 
dale he euer displaied, the thirde all blacke, signifiynge 
therby, that he then hadde shutte vp his gates from all com- 
passion and clemencie, in such sorte, that, whosoeuer were 

built for a warning for posterity, 
commonplaces of the Oriental 
accounts of this and other sieges. 

2. seq. The outlines of the 
following episodes are, of course, 
matter of common historical know- 

16. seq. This myth of the 
tents is hard to trace in any 
Oriental source, but persistent in 
the western ones. With slight 
variations of phrase, Cambinus 
(and Shute), Pius, Cuspinian, Curio, 
Granucci, Mexia and Perondinus 
all give substantially the same 
story, Cambinus (1529) is the 
earliest of these ; I have not been 
able to trace it further back, but 
presumably the germ of the tradi- 
tion was an imperfectly understood 

description (such as Clavijo's) of 
the gorgeous Tartar tents, spread 
over the plain of Samarqand, 
half camp, half city. It is notice- 
able that some authors use the same 
word for ' tent ' throughout, and 
that some vary it. Marlowe and 
Mexia both change from ' tent ' in 
the first two cases to ' pavilion ' 
in the third. I cannot think that 
much can be built on this, especi- 
ally as Newton and Shute both use 
the phrase ' pavilions or tents '. 
Perondinus, it may be remarked, 
has three different words. Fortes- 
cue has the unique version ' en- 
signs ', dictated probably by mis- 
directed common-sense in con- 
junction with complete ignorance 
of Tartar customs. 


in that dale taken, or in anie other then folowyng, shoulde 
assuredly die for it, without any respect e, either of man, or 
woman, little or greate, the Citie to be sackt, and burnt 
withall to ashes : whence assuredly it can not be saide, but 
that he was verie cruell, though otherwise adorned, with 
many rare vertues. But it is to be supposed, that god 
stirred hym vppe an instrument, to chastice these princes, 
these proude, and wicked nations. For better proofe whereof 
Pope Pius, whiche lined in his tyme, or at leaste, eight or 
tenne yeres after hym, reporteth of hym saiyng, that on a tyme lo 
beseigyng, a strong and riche citie, which neither on the first, 
or second would yelde to him, which only dales, were dales 
of mercie, as is aboue saide, on the third day neuerthelesse 
affiyng on hope vncertaine, to obtaine at his handes some 
mercie, and pardon, opened their gates, sendyng forth in 
order towardes hym, all their wemen, and children in white 
appareled, bearing eche in their handes a branche of Oliue, 
criyng with haute voice, humbly requestynge, and de- 
maundyng pardon, in maner so pitifuU, and lamentable to 
beholde, that besides him none other was but woulde haue 20 
accepted their solemne submission. This Tamburlaine, not 
withstandyng that beheld theim a farre of, in this order is- 
suyng, so farre then exiled from all kinde of pitie, that he 
commaunded forthwith, a certaine troope of horsemen to ouer 
runne, to murther, and kill theym, not leauyng one a line, 
of what condition soeuer, and after sackyng the Citie, rased 
it, euen vnto the verie foundations. A certaine Marchaunte 
of Genua was then in his campe, who had often recourse to 
him, who also vsed hym in causes familiarly, and who for 
that this facte seemed verie bloodie, and barbarous, hardned 30 
hymselfe to demaunde hym the cause why he vsed theim 
so cruelly, considering thei yelded themselues, craning grace, 

9. seq. The Asia of Pius was tion of the murder of the children 
first pubUshed at Venice in 1477. of Sebastia or Siwas. 
This story runs through the usual 27. This episode, omitted by 
group of European historians and, Marlowe except for the substance 
unlike some of the favourite epi- of Tamburlaine's reply, appears 
sodes of the saga, has an Oriental also in the sixteenth-century 
counterpart in the slaughter of the European chronicles, but not 
children of Ispahan described con- in the Byzantines. It scarcely 
vincingly by Arabshah and con- harmonizes with the more favour- 
firmed by Schiltberger. It would able Oriental accounts of Timur's 
be interesting to know whether or relations with his friends and 
not it passed from Asia to Europe counsellors, 
through Chalcondylas's descrip- 


and pardon : to whom he aunswered in most furious wrath, 
and yre, his face redde and firie, his eyes all flamynge, with 
burnyng spearckles, as it were biasing out, on euerie side. 
Thou supposest me to be a man, but thou to muche abbusest 
me, for none other am I, but the wrathe, and vengeaunce 
of God, and ruine of the worlde : wherefore aduise thee well, 
that thou neuer againe presume, to bee founde in any place 
in my sight, or presence, if thou wilt that I chastice thee 
not, accordyng to thy desert, and thy proude presump- 
tion. This Marchaunte with out more then sodenly retired, lo 
neither after that, was at any time seen in the campe of 
Tamhurlaine. Those thinges this accomplished, this greate 
and mightie Personage hauyng conquired many countries, 
subdued and done to deathe sundrie Kinges and Princes, no 
where findyng any resistaunce in any parte of all Asia, re- 
tourned home againe into his countrie, charged with infinite 
heapes of Gold, and treasure, accompanied also with the 
most honourable estates, of al the cuntries subdued by him, 
which brought with theim, in like maner, the greatest parte 
also of their wealth and substaunce, where he did to be builte 20 
a moste famous, and goodlie citie, and to be inhabited of 
those (as we fore saied) that he brought with hym, whiche 
altogether no lesse honourable then riche, in verie shorte 
tyme with the healpe of Tamhurlaine, framed the most beauti- 
full and moste sumptuous Citie in the worlde, whiche by the 
multitude of the people, was also merueilously inlarged, 
abundaunt, and full of al kinde of riches. But in the ende 
this Tamhurlaine, though he maintained his estate, in suche 
aucthoritie and honour, yet as a man in the ende, he paieth, 
the debte due vnto nature, leauyng behinde hym twoo soonnes, 30 
not such as was the father, as afterwarde appeared by many 
plaine, and euident signes : for as well by their mutuall dis- 
corde, cache malicing the other, as also by their insuffi- 
ciencie, with the lacke of age and experience, they were not 
able to keepe, and maintaine the Empire conquired by their 
father. For the children of Baiaceth, whom they yet helde as 

21. The historians, who gen- 31-2. Again there is general 

erally name Samarqand (except agreement about the failure of 

Chalcondylas, who says that Tamburlaine's sons to maintain 

Cheria was Tamburlaine's capital) his empire after his death, a ver- 

are divided as to whether he built sion naturally omitted by Marlowe, 

it or merely extended it. Peron- but skilfully indicated in the last 

dinus, in an authoritative note, scene, 
corrects the error (see Appendix D). 


prisoner, aduertised of this their discorde, and dissention, 
came into Asia with valiaunt courage, and diligencie, by the 
aide of suche people as they founde willing to assiste theim, 
recoueryng their possessions, and territories fore loste, whiche, 
in maner semblable did they other Princes, whiche Tambur- 
laine before had also subdued. So that this Empire in 
prosis of tyme so declined, that in our age there remaineth 
nowe no remembraunce at all of hym, ne of his posteritie or 
linage, in what respecte soeuer. How be it, true it is, that 
Baptista Ignatius, a diligent searcher of auncient antiquities, lo 
reporteth that he leafte twoo soonnes, Princes and Pro- 
tectours of all the countries, subdued by hym, reachyng, 
and extendynge euen vnto the Riuer of Euphrates, as al so 
their successors after theim, euen vntill the tyme of Kinge 
Vsancasan againste whom the Turke Mahomet, waiged some 
tymes bataile. And the Heires of this Vsancasam, as most 
men surmise, aduaunced theimselues, to the honour, and 
name of the first Sophi, whence now is deriued the empire 
of Sophi, whiche liueth this dale, as sworne ennimie to the 
Turke. Whiche how soeuer it be, it is to be supposed, that this 20 
historic of Tamburlaine, had it of anie been written, woulde 
haue been a matter worthie both of penne and paper : for 
that greate exploytes, no doubte were happily atchiued of 
hym : but as for me I neuer founde more, then I here pre- 
sently haue writen, neither suppose I that any other thinge, 
is of anye other man writen, this onely excepted, where on 
all men accorde, that he neuer sawe the backe, or frounyng 
face of fortune, that he neuer was vanquished, or put to 
flighte by any, that he neuer tooke matter in hande, that 
he brought not to the wished effect, and that his corage, 30 
and Industrie neuer failed hym to bryng it to good ende. 
By meanes whereof we male, for iuste cause compare hym 
with any other whatsoeuer, though renoumed in tymes past. 
This then that I here geue you, that al haue I borrowed of 
Baptista Fulgotius, Pope Pius, Platina vppon the life of 
Boniface the ninth, of Mathew Palmier, and of Camhinus a 
Florentine, writ3aig the historic, and exploytes of the Turkes. 

37—8. This is the European from which he heroically retrieved 

version. The Oriental (in the them. The European accounts 

Mulfuzat and in Sheref-ed-Din's dwell mainly upon the end and 

account) is more convincing ; Tam- successful part of his hfe. 
burlaine's fortunes sank, like Al- 34. seq. For Mexia's authorities, 

f red's, to a point of desperation see Appendix E. 




I. Baptistae Fulgosi. Liber Tertius. De Us qui humili fortuna 
orti clarum sihi nomen vendicarunt. [Fo. xcy] 151 8. 

Tamburlanus quern avorum nostrorum aetas armis justiciaque 
priscis in principibus equalem, regni autem atque exercitus 
magnitudine Xerse maiorem nedum paremvidit, quantum per- 
cipi potuit a Scithis ortus est, non regia stirpe aut insigni aliquo 
stemmate sed patrem extrema inopia pastorem habuit : inter 
pastores ipse nutritus et puerilibus ludis a pastoribus rex creatus, 
astu novaque industria eos ut jurejurando imperata se facturos 
pollicerentur impulit. Pecora igitur venundare eos atque ut 
a tarn inopi vita se vindicarent arma equosque comparare jussit. 
Hoc numero (ad quingentos enim pervenerant), quasdam mer- 
catorum societates quae per eas regiones magno numero praesidii 
gratia commeare solent et vulgo caravane dicuntur, armis 
devicit : atque in partienda preda adeo se inter comites justum 
liberalemque praestitit, ut mutatae conditionis pastores non 
modo non peniteret sed fide amoreque enixius ei devincirentur. 
Ad compescendam praedonum audaciam cum mille equitibus 
dux in eius regionis fines ubi haec adversus mercatores gesta 
erant, a persarum rege missus, cum a latronum duce in collo- 
quium vocatus esset latronis arte verbisque delinitus ex hoste 
comes ei f actus est. Interim inter persarum regem fratremque 
eius orta controversia, fratris causam latronum duces susceper- 
unt : cui postquam regnum asseruere maiori exercitus parte ab 
eo impetrata dum cum eo fingunt in exteris gentibus imperium 
parare velle, compulsis ad rebellandum populis brevi se qui ante 
latronum princeps erat persarum regem fecit. Quod autem 
Ischia debilitatus erat, eius nomini temir (quod scitharum lingua 
femiar significat), lang persae addiderunt : quod verbum prisca 
lingua Ischia debilitatum ostendit conjunctisque ambobus verbis 
temirlang nuncupatus fuit, a nobis autem verbo ob linguarum 
dissimilitudinem viciato pro temirlang Tamburlanus est dictus. 
Hie persico regno Armeniam Syriam babylonemque atque in- 
gentes alias gentes addidit : urbemque mercantam ambitu 
maximo condidit : sibi ingenti parta fama omnibusque quamvis 
parvo infoelicique ortis locospe facta ut corporis animique 
virtute atque industria ad quaevis ingentia regna imperiaque 
evadere possint. 


[Here may be seen in outline the account of the intrigues by which 
Tamburlaine gained the Persian crown, a group of episodes unknown to 
the Oriental and earlier historians of Tlmtir and apparently available to 
Marlowe in only four sources, Fulgoso (Fregoso), Mexia, Perondinus and 

2. The Embassy of Clavijo. Chap. xii. [From the translation 
by G. le Strange in the series Broadway Travellers. Rout- 
ledge. 1928.] 

Then coming to the presence beyond, we found Timur and 
he was seated under what might be called a portal, which same 
was before the entrance of a most beautiful palace that appeared 
in the background. He was sitting on the ground, but upon a 
raised dais before which there was a fountain that threw up a 
column of water into the air backwards, and in the basin of the 
fountain there were floating red apples. His Highness had 
taken his place on what appeared to be small mattresses stuffed 
thick and covered with embroidered silk cloth, and he was lean- 
ing on his elbow against some round cushions that were heaped 
up behind him. He was dressed in a cloak of plain silk without 
any embroidery, and he wore on his head a tall white hat on the 
crown of which was displayed a balas ruby, the same being 
further ornamented with pearls and precious stones. As soon 
as we came in sight of his Highness we made him our reverence, 
bowing and putting the right knee to the ground and crossing 
our arms over the breast. Then we advanced a step and again 
bowed, and a third time we did the same, but this occasion 
kneeling on the ground and remaining in that posture. . . . 

His Highness however commanded us to arise and stand close 
up to him that he might the better see us, for his sight was no 
longer good, indeed, he so infirm and old that his eyelids were 
falling over his eyes and he could barely raise them to see. We 
remarked that his Highness never gave us his hand to kiss, 
for that is not their custom, no one with them should kiss the 
hand of any great lord which to do would here be deemed 
unseemly. Timur now inquired of us for the health of the King 
our Master saying : * How is it with my son your King ? How 
goes it with him ? Is his health good ? ' We suitably answered 
and then proceeded to set out the message of our embassy at 
length, his Highness listening carefully to all that we had to say. 
When we had finished Timur turned and proceeded to converse 
with certain of the great lords who were seated on the ground at 
his feet. . . . Turning to them therefore Timur said : ' See 
now these Ambassadors whom my son the King of Spain has 


sent to me. He indeed is the greatest of all the kings of the 
Franks who reign in that farther quarter of the earth where his 
people are a great and famous nation. I will send a message of 
good will to my son this King of Spain. . . .' 

[This is the only extant account of Timur by an educated European 
who had met and conversed with him. Even in this short extract, the 
character revealed more nearly resembles that of the Oriental biographies 
than of any western writings except Schiltberger's report. The passage 
may be contrasted with the accompanying sixteenth-century European 
accounts upon which Marlowe drew.] 

3. Petrus Perondinus : Magni Tamerlanis vita. Cap. ix (bis) 

De dedecore ac vilissimo supplicii genere quibus Baiazithem 

affecit, et de ejusdem morte 

Nondum victoris Tamerlanis dims exaturatus satia- 
tusque animus videbatur c^ede cladeque Turcarum copiis 
miser abili modo illatis, nisi reliquum suae feritatis in Baia- 
zithem quoque omnium miserrimum effudisset, quippe eo pro- 
cumbente non sine ludibrio eius tergo pedem imponens solitus 
erat equum conscendere ; prandenti vero et commessanti, quo 
magis ridiculo foret, et despicatui, micas et frustilla sub 
mensa tripodi alligatus canis in modum comedere cogebatur. 
Reliquum vero temporis ferrea in cauea bestiarum more 
conclusus degebat ad admirandum humanarum rerum 10 
spectaculum, exemplumque fortunae nusquam fidae miser- 
andum, quin vel uxor eius, quam vna cum ipso captiuam 
traxerat crepidulis tantum calciata, sagoque perbreuissimo 
induta militari, denudatis obscenis dedecorose ante Baia- 
zithis oculos Scytharum proceribus vna discumbentibus 

II seq. Marlowe, characteristically, omits this detail, which Peron- 
dinus seems to have evolved from Chalcondylas's account, read in the 
light of the records of Tiberius. All that Chalcondylas says is that 
Tamburlaine 'eirLcrTTJaai ol ivavriov rou dv8p6s avTrjs, oivoxoijaai ol,' which 
is approximately Marlowe's view. Perondinus is followed verbally 
by Lonicerus, Bizarus and Primaudaye. Finally, an interesting comment 
from Podesta disposes of the myth : ' Trovandosi una volta in conver- 
satione con esso e con sua moglie, voile ch'essa presentasse a suo Marito 
una tazza, vedendo Baiazete sua moglie in conversatione, s'adiro, e com- 
mincio a dire contra Timur Chano diverse villanie. . . . Egli e altri- 
mente il costume delli Tartari Cziganatani, che la moglie porga al marito 
la tazza, onde non era maraviglia, se Timur Chano havendo fatto venire 
in conversatione la moglie di Baiazete, voile, che ad esso porgesse una 
tazza.' {Ann. Ott., pp. 55/6.) The episode is perhaps worth noting as it 
is characteristic of the treatment of the records of Timur in the hands 
of Europeans utterly ignorant of Tartar customs. 


pocula ministrare cogebatur, imitatus in hoc Tartarus Tam- 
erlanes Tiberium Romanorum Imperatorem, nudis non nisi 
puellis ministrantibus coenantem, quod indignissime ferens 
Baiazithes, ira percitus, moeroreque confectus tanta oner- 
atus ignominia, mortem sibimet dire imprecabatur : qui 20 
nulla via voti compos quum euasisset animum inexorabili 
obstinatione despondens vita excessit, capite numerosis 
ictibus ferreis caueae clatris perfracto illisoque cerebro, suo 
ad id misero funestoque fato compulsus, quod iam Regem 
summum Asiae turpiter cohercendum, regnoque auito et 
patrio spoliandum opilioni quondam praebuerit, at que tanta 
res suas calamitate insigniuerit, alter vero ex ad verso ab ilia 
ipsa rerum humanarum domina fortuna, ad tam summum 
Ethnearchiae fastigium euectus fuerit, vt bellum ingens ac 
tetrum regi antea inuicto, et praepotenti multisque victoriis 30 
et opibus clarissimo inferre potuerit, mira foelicitate con- 
ficere, eundemque et uxorem sordidatos tandem in vincula 
abripere, ac ingenti cum praeda gloriabundus in terram pa- 
triam reuerti. 

Perondinus Cap. XXI 

De statura Tamerlanis et moribus eius 

Statura fuit procera et eminenti, barbatus, latus ab humeris 
et pectore, caeterisque membris aequalis et congruens Integra 
valetudine, excepto altero pede, quo non perinde valebat, 
vt inde claudicare ac deformiter incedere prospiceretur, 
oris truculenti atque obductae suae frontis oculi introrsus re- 
cedentes praeferocis animi sui sa^uitiem spirantes intuentibus 
terrorem et formidinem incutiebant, valida erat vsque adeo 
neruorum compage, vt validissimum quemque e Scythis in 
palestra prosterneret, ac Parthici ingentis arcus chordam la- 
certosis brachiis vltra aurem facile posset extendere, aeneum- 10 
que mortarium excussi iaculi spiculo transfodere. Fuit igitur 
Tamerlanes corpore et moribus Cartaginiensi Hannibali si- 
millimus, quantum scripta veterum edocent, ostenduntque 
numismata ingenio callido, atroci, perfido, nihilque pensi ha- 
bente, vsu postulante truci, in reprimendis hominum latrociniis 
castigandaque militum licentia saeuiore, vt metu poenae oculos 
nedum manus ab auro gazaque omni diripienda cohibere didi- 
cissent, uti ipse sibi solus fortasse omnia vindicasset, cuncta- 
que pro arbitrio diripuisset, in caeteris vero plerumque con- 
niuebat, at quod mirum videri possit quserebat atrox bel- 20 


lorum exantlator indefesse tamquam eximium virtutis opus, 
quibus cum bellum gereret, aut quos semper turbulent issimis 
bellorum procellis agitaret, vel qui [sic. Qy. : quis ?] incor- 
rupta libertate fruentibus saeue iugum imponeret. 

Cap. XVII. De tentoriis, quibus in oppugnandis urbibus ute- 

In obsidendis vel oppugnandis urbibus memoriae mandatum 
est hoc modo sibi aditum ad illas comparasse, quippe primo die, 
quo in conspectum urbium se dabat, mensori sibi candidum 
tentorium in castris figi pronunciabat, ut certo scirent se statim 
dedentes, ac portas aperientes veniae at que salutis locum esse 
inventuros, ac impunitatem consecuturos, secundo vero die 
coccineum ingressus praetorium significari volebat cum caeteris 
pactus incolumitatem patres familias tantum cunctationis poenas 
cruore datum ire, tertio porro die omnium cunctabundae urbi 
funestissimo atri coloristabernaculoerecto, omni prorsus exutum 
misericordia Tamerlanem denunciabatur ad unum omnibus 
inhumaniter gladio confectis urbem solo aequatum ire. 

4. Newton : The Notable History of the Saracens. P. 129. 

1397. Tamburlane, Kyng of Scythia, a man of obscure byrthe 
and Pedagrew, grew to such power, that he maynteined in his 
Court daily attending on him, a thousand and CC, Horsemen. 
This Prince invadyng the Turkes dominions in Asia with an 
innumerable multitude of armed Souldiours, in the confynes of 
Gallitia and Bithynia, neere to Mount Stella, gave to the Turke 
a sore battaile, in the which, he slew of them two hundreth 
thousand. He tooke Baiazeth the Great Turke Prisoner, and 
kepte hym in a Cage, tyed and bounde wyth golden Chaynes.^ 
When so ever hee tooke Horse, he caused the sayde Baiazeth 
to be brought out of hys Cage, and used his necke as a Styrope : 
and in this sorte caryed hym throughout all Asia in mockage 
and derysion. He vanquished the Persians, overcame the 
Medians, subdued the Armenians, and spoiled all Aegypt. He 
built a Citie and called it Marchantum, wherein he kept all his 
Prisoners, and enriched the same with the spoyles of all such 
Cities as he conquered. It is reported in Histories, that in his 
hoast he had an incredible number of thousands, he used com- 
monly to have xii hundreth thousand under him in Campe. 
When he cam in sight of his enemies, his custome was to set up 

1 This may be traced to Cuspinian's remark {De Caesaribus (n.d.), p. 
542) ' In cavea cathenis aureis.' 


three sortes of Pavylions or Tentes : the first, was white, signi- 
fying therby to his Enemyes, that if at that shew, they would 
yelde, there was hope of grace and mercye at hys handes : the 
next was redde, whereby he signified blonde and flame : and 
lastly blacke, which betokened utter subversion and mercilesse 
havocke of all things for their contempt. 



[Note. This list does not pretend to bibliographical complete- 
ness. Only the books of chief interest to a student of Tambur- 
laine are classified. A fuller list of later editions, for example, 
will be found in Appendix B, and the full titles of the early 
editions in the Introduction. References to works of less general 
application will occasionally be found in the footnotes. Notices 
of the play in general histories of literature and the drama are 
not included.] 

I Early Editions 

Tamhurlaine the Great . . . 1590. 8vo. (Parts I and II in 

I vol.) O. Hn. 
Tamhurlaine the Great ... 1593. 8vo. (Parts I and II in 

I vol.) L. 
Tamhurlaine the Great . . . 1597. 8vo. (Parts I and II in 

I vol.). Hn. 
Tamhurlaine the Great . . . 1605. (Part I), 1606 (Part II) 

8vo. O. L. Hn., etc. 

II Later Editions 
A. Collected editions : 

The Works of Christopher Marlowe. London. 1826. 3 vols. 

[pub. W. Pickering.] 
The Works of Christopher Marlowe ... by the Rev. A. Dyce. 

3 vols. London. 1850. i vol. 1858, etc. 
The Works of Christopher Marlowe ... by Lt.-Col. Francis 

Cunningham, i vol. 1870. 
The Works of Christopher Marlowe, edited by A. H. Bullen. 

3 vols. London. 1885. 
Christopher Marlowe (The Best Plays of the Old Dramatists), 

by Havelock Ellis. 1887, etc. 
The Works of Christopher Marlowe, edited by C. F. Tucker 

Brooke. Oxford. 1910. 


B. Separate edition : 

Marlowes Werke . . . i. Tamhurlaine her. v. Albrecht 
Wagner. Heilbronn. 1885. 

Ill Critical and Bibliographical 

J. Broughton : An Account of the Dramatic Poets before Shake- 
speare. The Gentleman's Magazine, 1830. January, Feb- 
ruary, March, April and especially June. 

MS. notes on Tamhurlaine in the 1826 edition of Marlowe's 
works now in the B.M., No. 11771 d. 4. 

J. P. Collier : MS. notes on Tamhurlaine in Dyce's 1850 edition. 
B.M. 11771. bbb. 6. 

J. Mitford : The Gentleman's Magazine, Jan., 1841. 

Fr user's Magazine. Unsigned article, vol. xlvii. 

C. J. T. Mommsen : Marlowe und Shakespeare [i860 ?]. 
J. S. Schipper : De Versu Marlovii. Bonn. 1867. 

C. H. Herford and A. Wagner : The Sources of Tamhurlaine. 

Academy, vol. xxiv. 1883. 
L. Kellner : Marlowes Werke (Rev. of Tamhurlaine) Englische 

Studien, vol. ix. 1885. 

E. Faligan : De Marlovianis Fahulis. Paris. 1887. 

F. Rogers : Tamhurlaine the Great (Report of paper only). 

Academy, xxxiv, p. 244. 1888. 
O. Fischer : Zur Charakteristik der Dramen Marlowes. 1889. 
L. Frankel : Zum Stoffe von Marlowes Tamhurlaine. Englische 

Studien xvi, 459. 1892. 
K. Elze. Notes on Elizabethan Dramatists. Halle. 1889. 
E. Koeppel : Beitrdge zur geschichte des elisahethanische dramas, 

III. Tamhurlaine. {Englische Studien, xvi.) 1892. 
K. D. Deighton : The Old Dramatists. Conjectural Readings. 

E. Meyer : Machiavelli and the Elizabethan Drama. Weimar. 

E. Hiibner : Der Einfluss von Marlowes Tamhurlaine . . . Halle 

diss. 1901. 
J. le G. Brereton : Passages from the Works of Marlowe. Sydney. 

J. H. Ingram : Christopher Marlowe and his Associates. 1904. 
J. B. McKerrow : The Works of Thomas Nashe. 5 vols. 1904. 
A. Marquardsen : Marlowes Kosmologie {Jahrh. der. d. Shake- 
speare Gesell. Jrg. xli.) 1905. 
J. le G. Brereton : Notes on the Text of Marlowe. Anglia. Beihlatt. 



C. Brennan : Anglia. Beihlatt. 1905. 

H. C. Hart : Robert Greene s Prose Works. Notes and Queries. 

Series x. vol. v. 1906. 
M. Degenhart : Tamerlan in des Litteraturen des westlichen 

Europas {Archiv. cxxiii.) 1909. 
F. C. Danchin : En marge de la seconde partie de Tamhurlaine. 

Revue Germanique : 19 12. 
F. Stroheker : Doppelform und Rhythmus bei Marlowe und Kyd. 

L. Wann : The Oriental in Elizabethan Drama. Mod. Phil. 

xii. 1915. 
A. S. Cook : Modern Language Notes. Vol. xxi. 
F. G. Hubbard : Possible Evidence for the Date of Tamburlaine. 

Modern Language Association xxxiii. 436. 1918. 
L. E. Kastner and H. B. Charlton : The Poetical Works of Sir 

William Alexander . . . with an introductory essay on the 

Growth of the Senecan Tradition in Renascence Tragedy. 

1 921. 
E. Seaton : Marlowe and his Authorities. T.L.S. June 16, 1921. 
C. F. Tucker Brooke : The Marlowe Canon. 1922. 
The Reputation of Christopher Marlowe. 1922. 
Marlowe's Versification and Style. Stud. Phil. xix. 1922. 
E. Seaton : Marlowe's Map. Essays and Studies. English 

Association, x. 1924. 
L. Spense : Influence of Marlowe's Sources on Tamburlaine. L 

Mod, Phil. XXIV. 1926. 
U. M. Ellis-Fermor : Christopher Marlowe. 1927. 
M. Praz : Machiavelli and the Elizabethans. Annual Italian 

lecture of the British Academy. 1928. 
E, Seaton : Fresh Sources for Marlowe. Review of English 

Studies, Oct., 1929. 

IV TiMijR AND Tamburlaine 

[For general accounts, see, of course, the histories of the 
Middle Ages and particularly of the Mongol, Turkish and Persian 
Empires. One of these, J. v. Hammer-Purgstall, Geschichte des 
Osmanischen Reiches (1827), is cited in the footnotes.] 
Carpini : Libellus historicus Joannis de Piano Carpini, qui 

missus est Legatus ad Tartar os anno domini 1246. 
Rubruquis : The Itinerarium oi Gulielmus de Rubruquis (1253). 
Clavijo : Historia del gran Tamorlan. Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo 

[1406 seq.'], pub. 1582. Translations. : Hak. Soc. 1859 ; 

G. le Strange, Broadway Travellers, 1928. 


The Mulfuzdt Ttmury or Autobiographical Memoirs of the Moghul 

Emperor Tlmur, written in the Jagtay Turky Language . . . 

and translated . . . into English by Major Charles Stewart. 

Institutes political and military written originally in the Mogul 

language hy the great Timour . . . English by Major 

Davy. Oxford. 1783. 
Sharaf-al-Din. Zafar Nameh {c. 1425). See also Petis de la 

Ahmad b. Muhammed ibn Arabshah. Timur-Nameh. ^ 1450. 

See also P. Vattier. 
J. Schiltberger : Hie vahet an d Schildberger der vil wunders 

erfaren halt in den heydenschaft und in d. turckey (1473 ? 

1475 ?) Trans. Hak. Soc, No. lviii. 1879. 
M. Ducas : [Ducae Michaelis Ducae Nepotis Historia Byzantina] 

[before 1462. Reprinted Paris, 1649]. Migne. Ser. Graec. 

G. Phrantzes : XPONIKON FEDPnOY tov 0PANTZH rev 

TtQOJTo^earLaQtov. (1468). Lat. Trans. Migne. Ser. Graec. 



Pub. 1615. Lat. trans, of Clauserus. Basle. 1556.] 

Migne. Ser. Graec. 159. 
Palmieri : Eusebii Cesariensis Episcopi Chronicon . . . ad 

quem . . . Matthias Palmerius . . . Complura adiecere (1475). 
Platina : Excellentissimi historici Platine in vitas sumorum ponti- 

ficum ad Sixtum iiij. 1479. 
Callimachus : Callimachi Experientis, de clade Varnensi Epistola. 

(Ante 1496. See Lonicerus). 
Haytoun : Les Fleurs des hystoires de la terre Dorient [1501 ?]. 

Part V. 
Pius II : Pii II. Pon. Max. Asiae fines Hist. rer. ubiq.. gest. 

enarrantis. Venice. 1503. 
Fregoso : Baptiste Fulgosi de dictis factisque memorabilis . . . 

1518. (See for Tamburlaine, Fol. xcy. ' De iis qui humili 

fortuna orti clarum sibi nomen vendicarunt.' 
Kwand Amir : Haheeb-us-Siyar. 1521-4. (Trans. Bombay, 

Cambinus : Libro d' Andrea Cambini Fiorentino delta origine de 

Turchi. 1529. 
Giovio : Commentarii delle cose de Turchi, di Paulo Giovio . . . 



Cuspinian : De Turcorum Origine loanne Cuspiniano autore, 

1541. (Antwerp.) 
Mexia : Silva de Varia Lection. Compuesta por el magnifico 

cav alter Pedro Mexia . . . 1542. 
Bonfinius : Antonii Bonfinii Rerum Ungaricarum decades tres 

. . . 1543, etc. 
Richier : De Rebus Turcarum. Christophero Richerio [t.p. 1540, 

col. I543-] 

Mambrino da Fabriano : La Selva di varia lettione di Pietro 
Messia . . . tradotta . . . per Mambrino da Fabriano. 1544. 

Muenster : Cosmographia Beschreibung aller Lender dilrch Sebas- 
tian Muenster . . . 1544. 

Ashton : A shorte treatise upon the Turkes Chronicles, compyled 
by Paulus Jovius . . . Drawen out of the Italy en tong into 
Latin ... And translated out of Latyne into englysh by 
Peter Ashton. 1546. 

Gruget : Les Diverses Legons de Pierre Messie . . . mises en 
Frangoys par Claude Griiget Parisien . . . 1552. 

Perondinus : Magni Tamerlanis Scythiarum Imperatoris Vita a 
Petro Perondino Pratense conscripta. 1553. 

Sagundinus : De Rebus Turcicis Libri tres . . . partim a Sagun- 
dino vetustissimo Autore, partim a loanne Ramo descripti. 

Lonicerus : Chronicorum Turcicorum Tomus Primtcs . . . (etc.). 

Collecta, sermoneque Latino exposita a D. Philippo Lonicero, 

Theologo. 1556, 1578, 1584, 
Shute : Two very notable Commentaries the one of the original of 

tJie Turkes by Andrewe Cambine . . . translated oute of Italian 

into English by John Shute. London. 1562. 
Curio : Caelii Augustini Curionis Sarracenicae Historiae. Libri 

in. 1567. 

Granucci : Di Nicolao Granucci ... La vita del Tamburlano 

. . . 1569. 
Fortescue : The Foreste or Collection of Histories . . . done out 

of Frenche into Englishe by Thomas Fortescue. 1571. 
Belleforest : Harengues militaires . . . Receuillies et f aides 

Frangoyse, par Frangoys de Belle-Forest. 1573. 
Belleforest : Cosmographie Universelle. 1575. 
Newton : A Notable History of the Saracens . . . Drawen out 

of Augustine Curio and Sundry other good Authours by 

Thomas Newton. 1575. 
Petrus Bizarus : Persicarum rerum historia in xii libros descripta 

. . . Auctore Petro Bizaro sentiKate. 1583. 


Washington : Navigations made into Turquie by Nicholas Nicho- 

lay. 1585. 
Primaudaye : U Academic . . . de Pierre de la Primaudaye 

• • • 1577- ^'^^ French Academy . . . by Peter de la 

Primaudaye . . , translated into English by T.B. 1586. 
Leunclavius : Annates Sultanorum Othmanidarum a turcis sua 

lingua scripta . . . a Joanne Gaudier dicto Spiegel, inter- 

prete Turcico, Germanice translati. Joannes Leunclavius 

. . . Latine redditos illustravit et aussit usque ad annum 

CIO 13 XXCVIII. (1588). Migne. Ser. Graec. 159. 
Jean du Bee. Histoire du Grand Empereur Tamerlanes . . . 

Tiree des Monumens antiques des Arabes par Messire Jean du 

Bee . . . 1595. 
Boissardus. Vitae et Icones Sultanorum Tiircicorum ...J.J. 

Boissardo Vesuntino. 1596. 
Jean du Bee. The Historic of the Great Emperour Tamerlan . . . 

by Messire Jean du Bee. . . . Newly translated out of 

French into English for their benefit which are ignorant in 

that language. 1597. 
Knolles : The Generall Historic of the Turkes . . . Faithfully 

collected out of the best Histories, both auntient and moderne, 

and digested into one continual Historic until this present 

year, 1603, by Richard Knolles. 1603. 
Garcio : Commentarios de Don Garcio de Silva de la Embajada 

que de parte del rey de espana Felipe III hizo at rey Xaabas 

de Persia. 1618. 
Purchas : Purchas his Pilgrimes in five bookes . . . 1625. 
Vattier : L' Histoire du grand Tamerlan . . . traduit par . . . 

Pierre Vattier. 1658. [From the Arabic of Ahmad b. 

Muhammed Ibn Arabshah.] 
Podesta : Annali Ottomanici . . . Da Giovanni Battista Po- 

desta . . . 1672. 
De Gestis Timurlenkii . . . Vienna. 1680. [From Mustafa 

Effendi al-Jannabi.] 
Petis de la Croix : Histoire de Timur-Bcc. . . . Ecrite en Persan 

par Cherefeddin Ali, natif d' Yezd, Autcitr contemporain. 

Traduite en Frangois par feu Monsieur Petis de la Croix. 




Acantha, II. ii. i. 20 

Achilles, I. 11. i. 24 ; / II. iii. v. 68, 

Aeacus, II. iv. i. 172 
Aegeus, II. iv. iii. 13 
Aeneas, I. v. ii. 318, 332 
Aetna, II. v. iii. 233 
Africa (Affric, etc.), I. i. i. g, 89, 

127, 142, 164 ; ii. 16 ; 11. v. 85 ; 

III. i. 23, 28 ; iii. 10, 32, 56, 60 ; 
iii. 60, 63, 73, 99, 202, 205, 223, 
242, 245 ; IV. ii. 65 ; v. ii. 395 ; / 
II. I. i. 76 ; ii. 81 ; iii. 12 ; 
V. 8 ; vi. 68, 80 ; iii. ii. 124 ; 
iii. 20 ; V. i. 164 ; iii. 140 

Albania, I. i. i. 164 ; 11. ii. 31 

Albanese, II. i. i. 61 

Alcaron, I. iii. iii. 76 ; / II. i. ii. 61 ; 

V. i. 172, 192 
Alcides, I. v. ii. 466 ; /II. iv. iii. 12 
Aldeboran, II. iv. iii. 61 
Aleppo, II. III. i. 59 ; v. 2 
Alexander, II. v. i. 69 
Alexandria, II. i. i. 48 ; iii. 19 ; 

V. iii. 131 
Almains, II. i. i. 22, 58 
Amasia, II. 11. iii. 44 ; iii. i. 4, 51 ; 

V. ii. I 
Amazonia(ns), II. i. i. 74 ; vi. 65 
America, II. i. iii. 35 
Antarctic Pole, II. v. iii. 154 
Antioch, II. 11. i. 20 
Aonian, I. iv. iii. 6 
Apollo, I. I. ii. 211 ; / II. 11. iv. 18 ; 

V. ii. 33 ; iii. 62 
Appenines, II. i. ii. 34 
Aquilon, I. iii. ii. 78 
Arabia(n), I. iii. ii. 57 ; iii. 136 ; 

IV. i. 69 ; iii. 16, 29, 51, 64 ; 
iv. 93, 115 ; V. ii. 136, 316, 340, 
411, 468 ; / II. I. i. 62, 31; V. 
iii. 130 

Arabia Desert, II. iii. v. 35 

Araris, I. 11. i. 63 ; iii. 16 

Archipelago, II. i. i. 75 

Argier, I. iii. i. 49, 58 ; iii. 55, 

66; iv. 118, 123 ; / II. i. v. i, 

8, 13, 16; III. iii. 20 ; iv. i. 39 
Argolian, I. iv. iii. 2 
Ariadan, II. iii. v. 130 
Armenia(n), I. i. i. 163 ; 11. ii. 14 ; / 

II. V. iii. 127 
Asant, I. III. iii. 251 
Asia, I. I. i. 50, 52, 95, 112, 162 ; 

ii. 37, 73, 245 ; II. iii. 39 ; vii. 

38, 64 ; III. i. 18, 23 ; iii. 32, 60 ; 

V. ii. 455 ; / II. I. i. 16, 72 ; 

IV. i. 132 ; iii. i, 98 ; v. iii. 142, 

Asia Major, II. v. ii. 2 
Asia Minor, II. i. ii. 81 
Asia the Less, II. iii. v. 40 
Asphaltis, II. iv. iii. 5, 68 ; v. i. 

154. 203 
Assyrian(s), II. v. i. 71, 76 
Atlas, I. II. i. II ; / II. iv. i. 129 
Aurora, I. 11. ii. 10 ; iv. i. 55 
Auster, I. iii. ii. 78 
Austric, II. I. ii. 18 
Avernas (Avernus), I. i. ii. 159 ; 

IV. iv. 18 
Azamor, II. i. vi. 6 

Babylon, II. iv. iii. 93, 133 ; 

V. i. 35, 49, 63, 81, 116, 122, 127, 
166, 170 ; ii. 4, 9 

Badgeth, II. i. ii. 32 

Bagdet, II. v. i. 157 

Balaam, II. 11. i. 54 

Balsera, II. iii. iii. 3 

Barbarian, II. i. iii. 47 

Barbary, I. iii. i. i ; iii. 89 ; v. 

ii. 456 ; / II. I. vi. 7, 22, 47 
Belgasar, II. 11. i. 19 
Bellona, II. iii. ii. 40 
Belus, II. V. i. 69 




Biledull, II. I. vi. 21 

Bithynia(ns), I. iii. iii, 2, 137 ; 

IV. ii. 42, 98 ; iii. 25 ; / II. i. i. 
64 ; III. V. 41 ; V. iii. 128 

Black Sea, I. iii. i. 25 

Boheme (Bohemia), II. i. ii. 18 ; 

II. i. I 
Bootes, I. I. ii. 206 ; / II. i. vi. 43 
Boreas, I. i. ii. 205 ; 11. iv. 5 ; / 

II. I. vi. 33 
Borno, II. i. vi. 76 
Borno Lake, II. v. iii. 136 
British shore, I. iii. iii. 259 
Buda, II. II. i. I 
Bulgaria, II. 11. i. 8 
Byather, II, i. vi. 73 
Byron, II. i. i. 54 ; iv. iii. 6 

Caesarea, II. 11. i. 20 
Cairo, II. i. i. 47 ; iii. 15, 19 
Calabrian, II. i. vi. 94 
Calydonian, I. iv. iii. 3 
Canaria, II. i. vi. 54 
Carmonia, II. iii. i. 5 
Carnon, I. iii. i. 60 
Caspia(n) (Lake, Sea), I. i. i. 168 ; 
ii. 194 ; II. iii. 8 ; / II. iv. i. 103 ; 

V. iii. 127, 241 
Cazates, II. i. vi. 64 
Cephalus, I. iv. iii. 4 
Cerberus, II. v. i. 97 
Ceres, II. iv. iii. 37 
Charon, I. v. ii. 402 
Chio, II. III. i. 51 

Christ, II. II. ii. 32, 35, 39, 40. 55> 

63, 64; iii. II, 33 
Cicilians, II. i. i. 62 
Cimbrian, II. iv. i. 188 
Cimmerian, I. iii. ii. 77 ; v. ii. 171 ; / 

II. V. iii. 8 
Clymene, I. iv. ii. 49 ; / II. v. iii. 231 
Cocytus, I. V. ii. 155 
Codemia, II. i. vi. 83 
Colchis, I. IV. iv. 9 
Constantinople, I. iii. i. 6 
Corinna, II. 11. iv. 93 
Crete, II. i. iii. 26 
Cubar, II. i. vi. 74 
Cupid, II. II. iv. 81 
Cutheia, II. 11. i. 18 
Cyclopian, I. 11. iii. 21 
Cynthia, I. i. i. 13 ; iv. ii. 35 ; / 

II. II. ii. 47 ; iii. 30 ; iv. 18 ; 

III. iv. 50 ; IV. ii. 30 ; v. ii. 46 
Cyprus, II. I. iii. 26 ; iii. v. 12 
Cyrus, I. I. i. 130 

Damascus (Damasco), I. iv. i. 3 ; 
ii. 48, 99, 102, 114 ; iii. 18, 62 ; 

IV. I, 8, 73, 83, 115 ; V. ii. 3, 17, 
67, 93. 258 ; / II. I. vi. 78 ; 11. i. 
7 ; III. i. 60 ; ii. 125 

Damon, I. i. i. 50 

Danes, II. i. i. 22, 58 

Danubius, II. i. i. 7, 23, 37 ; ii. 

2, 72 
Darius, I. i. i. 154 
Darotes, II. i. iii. 20 
Destiny, I. v. ii. 171 
Deucalion, II. i. vi. 6 
Dis, I. II. vii. 37 ; / II. iv. ii. 93 

East India, see India 

Ebena, I. v. ii. 84 

Egypt(ia), I. i. ii. 6, 113 ; iv. iii. 

10, 51 ; iv. 75, 93, 114, 138 ; 

V. i. 49 ; ii. 42, 90, 258, 318, 
382, 387 ; / II. I. i. 4, 63 ; V. iii. 130 

Egyptians, I. iv. i. 8 ; v. ii. 58, 455 
Elysium, I. v. ii. 184, 403;/ II. iv. 

ii. 87 
Erebus, I. iv. i. 46 ; v. ii. 181 
Ethiopian Sea, II. i. vi. 69 ; v. iii. 

Euphrates, I. v. ii. 377 ; / II. iii. i. 

43, 54 ; V. ii. 3 
Europe, I. i. i. 10, 127 ; iii. i. 23 ; 

iii. 38, 135 ; /II. I. i. 30, 42 ; 

ii. 41 ; vi. 81 
Euxine Sea, I. i. i. 167;/ II. iv. i. 


Famastro, II. iii. i. 51 

Fame, I. v. ii. 202;/ II. iii. iv. 63 

Fatal Sisters, I. v. ii. 392 ; iv. 99 ; / 

11. III. iv. 54 

Fates, I. I. ii. 173 ; iv. iv. 137 
Fesse (Fez), I. iii. iii. 66 ; IV. iv. 

119, 123 ; / II. I. vi. I, 3, 13, 23 
Flora, I. V. ii. 77 ; / II. 11. iii. 22 
Frozen Sea, II. i. i. 26 
Fury, Furies, I. 11. vii. 53 ; iv. iv. 

17 ; V. ii. 31, 155; / II. I. vi. 19; 

III. ii. 12 ; iv. 59 ; iv. ii. 92 

Ganges, I. v. ii. 459 

Gaza, II. III. i. 46 

Georgia(n), I. 11. ii. 15 ; /II. v. i. 31 

Germany, II. i. ii. 8 

Gibraltar, II. i. vi. 53 

Gihon, I. v. ii. 60 

Gorgon, I. iv. i. 18 

Graecia(ns), Greeks, Greece, I. i. i. 
130 ; II. V. 85 ; III. i. 14, 24, 29, 
67 ; iii. 19, 32, 92, 204, 242 ; / 
II. I. i. 61 ; ii. 81 ; iii. 36 ; 
V. I ; II. iv. 87 ; iii. v. 65, 66, 
94 ; V. iii. 141 



Gruntland, II. i. i. 26 
Guallatia, II. i. vi. 51 
Guyron's Head, II. i. i. 17 

Halla, II. III. V. 46 

Harpy, I. 11. vii. 50 

Hector, II. iii. v. 65, 70 

Hercules, I. iii. iii. 104 

Hermes, I. i. ii. 209 ; / II. iv. ii. 18 

Herycina, II. iv. iii. 122 

Hippolytus, II. V. iii. 240 

Homer, II. 11. iv. 89 

Hungarians, II. i. i. 21 

Hungary, II. i. i. 9, 51 ; ii. 37, 87 ; 

iii. 12 
Hyades, I. iii. ii. 76 
Hydra, I. iii. iii. 140 

Ibis, I. IV. iii. 37 
Ida, II. III. V. 6 
Ilion, II. IV. iii. 113 
Illyria(ns), II. i. i. 64 ; iii. i. 5 
India, I. i. i. 166 ; ii. 85 ; 11. v. 41 ; 
III. iii. 254, 263 ; V. ii. 456 ; / 

II. I. i. 69 ; III. ii. 121 ; v. iii. 135 
lo, II. I. iii. 39 

Italy, II. I. i. 39 

Jaertis, see Jaxartes 

Janus, II. II. iv. 114 

Jason, I. IV. iv. 9 

Jaxartes, II. iv. i. 108 ; iii. 108 

Jerusalem, II. 11. i. 21 ; iii. 43 ; 

III. i. 4, 45 ; V. 32 

Jove, I. I. i. 14, 170 ; ii. 87, 179, 
198; II. iii. 19; vii. 17, 36; 
V. ii. 227, 301, 449 ; / II. I. ii. 24 ; 
vi. 16, 26, 39 ; II. ii. 41 ; iv. 107 

III, i. 36 ; iv. 46 ; v. 21, 56 ; 

IV. i. Ill, 151, 200; ii. 18; 
iii. 24, 33, 60 ; v. i. 92, 98 ; 
iii. 35, 61, 105 

Jubaltar, I. in. iii. 256 
Judaea, II. iii. i. 46 
Julius Caesar, I. in. iii. 152 
Juno, I. III. ii. 54 ; v. ii. 448 
Jupiter, I. II. vi. 4 ; iii. iii. 123 ; 
IV. ii. 25 

Lantchidol, II. i. i. 69 

Larissa, II. i. iv. 5, 107 ; 11. ii. 6 ; 

III. ii. 34, 141 
Latona, I. v. ii. 452 
Lerna, I. iv. iv. 21 
Lesbia, II. 11. iv. 93 
Lethe, II. in. ii. 13 
Limnasphaltis, II. v. i. 17, 67, 115 ; 

ii- 5 

Machda, II. i. vi. 60 

Mahomet, I. in. i. 54 ; iii. 75, 195, 

208, 269, 270 ; IV. ii. 2 ; iv. 53 ; 

V. ii. 176, 301, 417 ; / II. I. ii. 60 ; 

iii. 65 ; iv. 109 ; n. ii. 32, 44 ; 

iii. II, 34 ; III. i. 3 ; iii. 36 ; 

iv. 31, 46; V. 17, 55, 92 ; IV. i, 

121, 197 ; V. i. 174, 178, 181, 186. 

197; ii. II, 24, 31, 37 
Manico, II. i. vi. 71 
Mare Majore, II. i. vi. 88 ; in. i. 52 
Mare Roso, II. in. v. 131 
Mars, I. II. vii. 58 ; iv. i. 35 
Mauritania (n), I. in. iii. 16 
Mausolus, II. II. iv. 133 
Mecca, II. i. ii. 64 ; in. v. 131 
Media, I. i. i. 163 ; ii. 12 ; 11. ii. 33 ; 

V. 83 
Meleager, I. iv. iii. i 
Memphis, Memphian, I. i. i. 12 ; 

IV. i. I ; ii. 104 
Mercury, I. i. i. 14 
Mesopotamia, I. i. i. 165 
Mexico, I. III. iii. 255 
Minerva, I. in. ii. 52 

Moors, I. in. iii. 89, 136 ; iv. ii. 98, 
455 ; / II. I. i. 62 ; vi. 14 ; in. 
iii. 29 ; iv. 20 

Morocco, I. in. iii. 66 ; iv. iv. 120, 
123 ; / II. I. vi. I, 10 

Muses, I. III. ii. 50 ; v. ii. 81 

Natolia, II. i. i. 6, 13, 53 ; ii. 37, 
71. 75. 85 ; V. 10, 14 ; vi. 34, 
90 ; II. i. 16 ; ii. 3 ; in. i. 4, 8 ; 
iv. 86 ; V. 8, 21, 158 ; iv. iii. 102 

Natolians, II. i. i. 63 

Neptune, I. 11. vii. 37 ; in. ii. 52 

Nigra Silva, II, i. vi. 85 

Nilus (Nile), I. in. ii. 47 ; iv. i. 9 ; 

V. ii. 377 ; / II. I. vi. 59 ; in. i. 43 
Ninus, II. I. i. 69 

Nubia, II. I. vi. 75 ; v. iii. 135 

Oblia, II. I. vi. 84 

Ops, I. II. vii. 13 

Orcus, I. III. i. 65 ; / II. n. iii. 25 

Orestes, I. i. ii. 242 

Orminius, II. n. i. 18 ; ii. 2 

Padolia, II. i. vi. 83 

Palestina, II. in. v. 32, 54 

Paris, I. I, i. 66 

Parthia, I. i. i. 165 ; 11. i. 65 ; 

V. 83 
Pegasus, I. I. ii. 94 
Persepolis, I. i. i. 37, 141 ; n. v. 

24, 40, 49, 50, 54 ; in. iii. 255 



Persia (Persea), I. i. i. 6, 59, 155, 

162 ; ii. 165 ; 11. i. 48 ; ii. 71 ; 

iv. 23 ; V. 8, 19 ; vi. 40 ; vii. 

39, 56. 67 ; III. i. 20, 45 ; ii. 59 ; 

iii. 82, 132, 189 ; IV. ii. 47 ; 

V. ii. 94, 432, 445 ; / II. I. iv. 74 ; 

III. i. 16 ; V. 4, 157 ; IV. iii. 106 ; 

V. i. 128, 162, 211, 213, ; iii. 126 
Persians' sepulchre, II. iii. v. 19 
Phaeton, II. v. iii. 244 
Pharsaha, I. iii. iii. 154 
Phlegethon, II. iii. ii. 13 
Phoebe, I. iii. ii. 19 ; / II. v. iii. 232 
Phoebus, I. I. ii. 40 ; / II. i. iii. 51 ; 

II. iv. 50 
Phrygia, II. iii. v. 10 
Phyteus, II. v. iii. 237 
Pierides, I. iii. ii. 51 
Plato, I. IV. ii. 96 
Polypheme, II. i. i. 28 
Portingale, I. iii. iii. 258 
Progne, I. iv. iv. 24 
Proserpina, II. iv. iii. 36 
Pygmalion, II. i. iii. 38 
Pylades, I. i. ii. 242 
Pyramides, I. iv. ii. 103 

Red Sea, II. v. iii. 132 
Rhadamanth, II. iv. i. 172 
Rhamnis, I. 11. iii. 37 
Rhamnusia, II. iii. iv. 57 
Rhodope, I. i. ii. 88 
Riso, II. III. i. 53 
Rome, II. II. i. 9 ; iv. 92 
Russian, I. i. ii. 193 

Samarcanda, II. iv. i. 105 ; iii. 
107, 130 

Sancina, II. iii. i. 53 

Saturne, I. i. i. 13 ; 11. vii. 36 ; / 
II. IV. iii. 125 

Saturnia, II. v. i. 77 

Saul, II. II. i. 54 

Scalonia(n), II. iii. i. 46 

Scythia(n), I. i. i. 85 ; ii. 17, 89, 
152, 154, 224, 243 ; II. V. 83, 
97 ; III. iii. 68 ; iv. i. 2 ; / II. 
I. i. 68 ; III. i. 15 ; iv. 19, 29, 
37 ; V. 90 ; V. i. 138: iii. 143 

Selinus, II. iv. iii. 121 

Semiramis, II. iii. v. 37 ; v. i. 73 

Sicily, II. IV. iii. 4 

Sinai, II. iii. i. 47 

Sinus Arabicus, II. iv. iii. 104 

Siria, I. i. ii. 4, 77 

Slavonians, II. i. i. 22, 58 

Soldino, II. III. i. 59 

Soria(ns), II. i. i. 63 ; 11. i. 21 ; iii. 

44 ; III. i. 4, 58 ; iii. 2 ; v. 41 
Spain, II. I. iii. 34 ; vi. 52 
Stoka, II. I. vi. 83 
Styx, Stygian, I. v. ii. 171, 193, 

401 ; / II. III. ii. 13 

Tartars, Tartarian, I. i. i. 16 ; 
ii. 93 ; II. ii. 65 ; iii. i. 2 ; iii- 
151, 171 ; V. ii. 268 ; / II. 11. iii- 
18 ; V. i. 162 

Tartary, II. iv. i. 43 

Tenedos, II. 11. iv. 88 

Terrene (sea, main), I. iii. i. 10, 

25 ; iii- 50 ; / II- I. i- 37 : iii- 25 ; 

IV. iii. 103 ; v. iii. 132 
Tesella, II. i. vi. 21 
Theban, I. iv. iii. 4 
Themis, I. iv. iii. 5 
Thessalian, I. v. ii. 70 
Thetis, II. I. vi. 42 ; iii. iv. 51 
Thracia(ns), I. iv. iv. 24 ; / II. i. i. 

64 ; III. i. 4 ; IV. iii. 12 
Tigris, II. V. ii. 3 
Trebizon, II. i. i. 33 ; ii. 85 ; 

iii. 44 ; III. i. 4, 50 ; v. 40 
Tripoly, I. iii. iii. 17 ; / II. i. v. 13 ; 

III. i. 59 
Trojans, I. v. ii. 330 
Troy, II. II. iv. 86 
Tunis, II. I. vi. 6 
Turkey, II. i. i. 18, 56 ; ii. 38 ; 

vi. 31 ; III. i. 7 ; V. 14, 64 
Turk(s), I. I. i. 16 ; 11. v. 5 ; iii. 

i. 8, 44 ; iii. 3, 6, 46, 72, 136, 

163, 167, 168, 201 ; IV. ii. 42 ; 

V. ii. 94 ; / II. I. i. 62, 94 ; 11. i. 6 ; 
III. ii. 138, 147 ; iv. 87 ; v. 41, 
171 ; IV. i. 2, 161 ; iii. 57 ; v. ii. 
25 ; iii. 129 

Turnus, I. v. ii. 318, 331 
Typhon, I. iii. iii. 109 
Tyros, II. i. vi. 82 

Venetian Gulf, I. iii. iii. 249 
Venus, I. V. ii. 61 ; / II. iv. ii. 42 
Verna, II. 11. i. 8 
Vienna, II. i. ii. 10, 26 
Volga, I. I. ii. 103 ; iv. i. 4 

Xerxes, I. 11. iii. 15 

Zanzibar, II. i. vi. 67 ; v. iii. 139 
Zoacum, II. 11. iii. 20 
Zona Mundi, II. iv. i. 42 
Zula, II. II. i. 7 


(This does not include a complete glossarial index ; references to notes 
upon words are only given in the cases in which these notes are relatively 





90 n. 
abjection, 168 w. 
accomplishments, 207 w. 
Admiral's Company and Tambur- 

laine, i, 2, 3, 16, 61-2 
Aeschylus, 56, 89 n., 100 n., 192 n. 
affections, 85 n. 
Africa, Bajazet's empire in, 117 w., 

118 n., 135 n. 
Agamemnon, 88 n. 
Agydas, 119 n. 
Albania, 97 n. 
Aleppo, 235 n. 
Alexander, defeat of Darius, 75-6 n. 

On the Euphrates, 235 n. Des- 
truction of Persepolis, 106 n. 

Compared with Tamburlaine, 49, 

Allde, E., printer of Tamburlaine, 

O4, 67 n. 
AUeyn, E., as Tamburlaine, 11-12 
Amasia, 181 n., 221 n. 
Amurath II, 184 w., igi n., 209 w. 

At the battle of Varna, 41-2, 43 
Amyras, 181 w. 
Anatolia, Timur's conquest of, 19, 

See also Natolia 
Anaximenes of Miletus, 169 n. 
Ancora (Angora), site of battle 

between Timur and Bajazet, 19, 

annoy, 147 n. 
Antony and Cleopatra, 87 n., 137 m., 

175 w. 
Apuleius, The Golden Ass, 161 n. 
Arabia, 65. Timur's invasion of, 

25. 39, 293, 140 w. 
Arabshah, Ahmad b. Muhammed 

ibn, 24 n., 25 n., 27, 28 n., 157 n., 

288 n., 295 n. Timur-N ameh , 


Araris = Araxis ?, 95 w. 

Arber, E., 67 n. 

Argier (Algeria), 116 w. 

argin, 225 n. 

argosies, 186 n. 

argument, 245-6 n. 

Ariosto, Marlowe's adaptation of 
episode from Orlando Furioso, 
44-5 and note, 231 n., 252 n. 

Aristophanes, 161 n. 

Aristotle, i6g n., 246 w. Physio- 
logy of, 88 n., 114 w. Meta- 
physics of, 141 n. 

armado, 192 n. 

Armenia, Ortelius' placing of, 76 n., 
95 n., 96 n. 

artier, 12 n., 249 n. 

Ashton, P., translator of Giovio, 27, 
28, 29, 35, 292 n., 307 

Asia, Bajazet's empire in, iiy n. 
Overrun by Tamburlaine, 290, 
293, 302. Marlowe's use of the 
name, 71 n., 184 n. 

Asphaltis, 254 n. 

Astrology, Marlowe's knowledge of 
and references to, 69-70 n., 94 n., 
222 n., 238 n., 274 n. 

Astronomy, Marlowe's knowledge 
of and references to, 6g n., 81 n., 
85-6 w., 87 M., 93 n., 112 n., 
141 n., 142 n., 144 n., 188 n., 
214 n., 222 n., 223 n., 234 n., 
257 n. 

Atheism, the Elizabethan use of the 
term, 7-8 and n., 10 n. 

Australasia, 276 n. 

Authorship of Tamburlaine, 11-17. 


Babylon (and Babylonia), 73 >«., 
236 w., 260 w., 262 w. Timur's 
siege of, 25, 32, 264 n. 

Baghdad, Timur's destruction of, 21 




Bajazet, Emperor of Turks, uy n. 
Champion of Islam, 133 n. Char- 
acter and career ; accounts of, 
291-3 ; Byzantines', 23-6 ; Schilt- 
berger's, 18 ; degradation at 
hands of western historians and 
Marlowe, 23 n., 40, 48, 56, 57, 
144 n. His siege of Constanti- 
nople, 23, 116 n. Defeat by 
Timur, 19, 25, iiy ns., 125ns., 
126 n., 302. Treatment by 
Timur, 24 n., 28, 29 n., 37, 140 n., 
142 n., 144 n., 292, 2^3 and n., 
300-1, 302. Death of, 26 and n., 
32,301. Sons of, 43, 183 w., 296- 
7 ; 181 n-. 

Baldwin, 181 n. 

Balsera, 44, 44-5 and n., 228-9 ^• 

banned, 168 n. 

Barbary, 116 n., 193 w. Bajazet's 
empire in, 117 n. 

Barocius, Cosmographia, 145 n. 

basilisk, 136 n. 

Bee, Jean de, Histoire du Grand 
Empereuy Tamerlanes, 17, 24, 34, 

Belleforest, 307. Marlowe's know- 
ledge of, 33, 44, 45 n., 83 n., 140- 
I n., 171 n. Quoted, 141 n. 

Bible, the, Marlowe's reminiscences 
of, 89 n., 92 n., 94 n., 106 n., 
161 n., 207 n., 213 n., 271 n. 

Bibliander, 154 w., 187 n. 

Bizarus, P., his account of Tambur- 
laine and Marlowe's knowledge of, 
26, 28 n., 33, 35, 37, 69 n., 75 n., 
106 n., 181 n., ^00 n., 307 

Black Book, the, reference to 
Tamburlaine, 14. 

Bodleian Library, early Tambur- 
laine octavos in, i, 3. 

Boissardus, J. J., 308 

Bonfinius, 307. Marlowe's borrow- 
ings from, 42, 43, 190 n., 207 n., 
209 n. Quoted, 206-7 n., 209 n. 

boss, 132 n. 

Brennan, C, 78 n., 305 

Brereton, J. le G., 304 ; 88 n., 
164 n., 223 n. 

Breton, N., Tamburlaine attributed 
to, 14 

brigandine, igg n. 

British Museum Library, early 
Tamburlaine octavos in, 2, 3 

Brooke, Professor C. F. T., 47, 62, 
283, 305. On relations of the 
octavos, 282. On authorship of 
Tamburlaine, 16-17. The Repu- 

tation of Christopher Marlowe, 16. 
The Marlowe Canon, 17. Mar- 
lowe's works, edition of, 285, 303. 
On Broughton's edition, 285. 
References in notes and notes by, 
3, 71, 73, 88, loi, 186, 254 

Broughton, J., 304. On Heywood's 
reference to Tamburlaine, 11-12. 
MS. notes on Marlowe's works, 
283. Edition of Tamburlaine pre- 
pared but not published (?), 285. 
References in notes and notes 
by, 68, 69, 76, 161, 162, 164, 187, 
194, 201, 231, 248, 254, 261, 263. 

Browne, Sir T., 100 n., 253 n. 

Byzantine Empire, uy n. 

Byzantine historians, 32, 183. 
Accounts of Timur and Bajazet, 
23-6, 125 n. Understanding of 
Tartar character, 22 seq. Debt of 
early sixteenth century historians 
to, 23, 26 ; of Mexia to, 30. 
Additions made by later histor- 
ians to accounts of, 139 n., 295 n. 

Bullen, A. H., 284, 303. References 
in notes, 149, 164, 203, 229, 243, 

Cairo, 186 n. 

Callapine, son of Bajazet, 43 

Callimachus, on battle of Varna, 33, 
42, 306 

Calyphas, son of Tamburlaine, 40, 
55. Marlowe's treatment of 

character of, 195 w., 197 w., 243 n. 
Originality of Marlowe's concep- 
tion of, 44, 56, 181 

Cambinus, 27, 33, 35. Account of 
Timur, 28-9, 139 w., 289 w., 
292 n., 294 n., 297, 306 

Cambises, 68 

Capha, legend of, 29, 30 

Capital letters, use of in Oj, vi 

Carnon, iig n. 

Carpini, 18, 22, 305 

casemates, 226 n. 

Caspian Sea, 86 n., 95 n. 

Catullus, 216 n. 

cavalieros, 225 n. 

Caucasus, 96 n., 97 n. 

Celebinus, 181 n. Character of, 
277 n. 

Chalcondylas, account of Timur, 17, 
23, 24-6, 33, 36 and n., 144 w., 
i^y n., 181 n., 295 m., 2g6n., 
300 w., 306. Marlowe's debt to, 



Chambers, Sir E. K., on Tambur- 

laine, 61-2 
Chapman, G., 138 w., 254 w. 
Characters, treatment of, 82 n., 

gi n., 103 w. Development in 

Part II, 54-5. See also under 

Calyphas, Zenocrate, etc. 
Charlton, H. B., 305 
Cheria, name for Tamburlaine's 

capital, 296 
Chinese Empire, Timur's expedition 

against, 19 
Choephoroi, 89 n. 
Cicero, Marlowe's knowledge of and 

possible borrowings from, 52, 60, 

71 n., 145 ns., "ZOO n., 223 n. 
Clauserus, 154 n., 187 n. 
Clavijo, account of Timur, 18, 19, 

20-22, 25, 305 ; of his camp and 

capital, 258 n., 290 n., 294 n., 

299-300 and ws. Quoted, 299-300. 

Episodes not mentioned by, 139W. 
Clawson, J. L., early Tamhurlaine 

octavo in library of, 3 
Cock, A. A., 286 
Collating, method used in, v 
Collier, J. P., MS. notes in Dyce's 

ed. Marlowe's works, 284, 304. 

References in notes and notes by, 

III, 158, 164, 184, 231. 
Comic passages in Tamhurlaine, 

6j n., 104 w., 134 w. See also 

conceit, 80 n., 120 n., 162 n., 174 n., 

260 n. 
consort, 152 n. 
Constantinople, siege of, 25, 41, 

116%., iij n., i26n., 291. 

Central event of Byzantine his- 
tories, 23 
continent, 74 n. 
Cook, A. S., 164 n., 305 
Coriolanus, 80 n., 151 n. 
Cosmology, Marlowe's knowledge of 

and interest in, 142 w., 152 w., 

251 n. 
Cosroe, 40, 65 
counterscarps, 225 n. 
counterfeit, 12.0 n. 
countermand, 119 w. 
countervail, 138 w. 
Cunningham, editor, 284, 303. 

References in notes and notes by, 

78, 83, 86, 118, 131, 164, 201, 203, 

213, 216, 225, 226, 228-9, 229, 

231, 236 
Curio, historian, 29, 33, 35, 292 n., 

294 n., 307 

Cuspinian, historian, 27, 28, 29, 
30, 35, 125 n., 292 n., 294 n., 

Cyriscelebes, 181 w. 
Cyrus, King of Persia, 74 n. 


Damascus, Timur's siege of, 25, 29, 
137 M., 201 n., 293-4. Marlowe's 
use of accounts of, 156-7 n., 
230 n. His use of form Damasco, 
221 n. 

Danchin, F. C, 305. On date of 
Tamhurlaine, 8-10. On Mar- 
lowe's borrowings from Ive, etc., 
8-10 and n., 45 and n., 216 n., 
225 n. 

Dante, Inferno, 216 n. Improb- 
ability of Marlowe's knowledge of, 
223 n. 

Danube, Marlowe's account of its 
course, 46, 185 n. 

Darius I, King of Persia, 69, 74, 106, 

Darius III, King of Persia, 76 

Date of Tamhurlaine, 6—10 

Death, Marlowe's personification of, 
160 n. 

Deighton, K. D., 164 w., 304 

Degenhart, M., 305 

Destruction of women and children 
of conquered city, 29, 30, 295 n. 
Marlowe's use of episode, 156-7 n. 
See also under Ispahan 

Diogenes of Apollonia, 169 n. 

Donne, J., 247 n. 

doubtlessly, now. 

Ducas, historian, account of Timur, 
17. 23-4, 306 

Dyce, A., editor, 283, 284, 303. On 
authorship of Tamhurlaine, 14. 
References in notes and notes by, 
76, 81, 83, 93, 94, loi, 114, 118, 
120, 121, 131, 134, 141, 142, 145, 
150, 159, 164, 165, 167, 177, 181, 
186, 207, 213, 214, 220, 229, 254, 
261, 280 

Dyce Library, early Tamhurlaine 
octavo in, 3 

ecstasies, 167 n. 
Editions, early. See Octavos 
Edward II, anticipations of mood 
of in Tamhurlaine, 44, 214 n. 
Relative immaturity of Tamhur- 
laine, 50, 59, 82 n., 120 n. 



Egypt, Tamburlaine's invasion of, 
140 n. ; turned back by deserts, 
293. Bajazet's empire in, 117 n. 
Marlowe's use of name, 186 n. 

Eleazar, Prince of Bulgars, 25 

Electra (Euripides), 89 n. 

Electra (Sophocles), 89 n. 

Elements, theory of, Mario we 's 
references to, 89 n., no n., 112 n., 
113 w., 114 n. See also under 

Ellis, H., editor, 113 n., 275 n., 284, 

Ellis-Fermor, U. M., 305 
Elze, K., 118 w., 203 n., 304 
Emendations, use of, v 
enchas'd, 81 w. 
Equator, 74 w. 
Eumenides, 8g n. 
Euphrates, 235 w. 

Euripides, 56, 8gn., i6gn., 280 n. 
Eusebius, historian, 26 
Everyman's Library, edition, 285 
expressless, 168 n. 

Fabriano, Mambrino da, 286, 292 n., 


facts, 121 n. 

Faligan, E., 304 

fancy, 121 n. 

Farmer, on authorship of Tambur- 
laine, 14 

Faustus, references and comparisons 
with Tamhurlaine, 52, 58, 74 w., 
86n., 134 n., 138 n., 143 n., 149 n., 
171 M., 184 w., 188 n., 210 n., 
215 n. 

Fez (Fesse), 116 n., 128 n. ; King of, 
65 w. 

figure, 255 n. 

Fischer, O., 304 

Fletcher, J., 6g n. 

form, technical use of term by 
Marlowe, 246 n., 252 n. 

Foreste, see Fortescue 

Fortescue, historian, 29, 37 and n., 
307. Relation to Mexia, 286, 
287-97 and notes. The Foreste, 
quotation from, 287-97. Refer- 
ences in notes, 127, 159, 183, 230 

Frankel, L., 304 

Eraser's Magazine, 164, 304 

Frederick, source of character (?), 
181 n, 

Fregoso, historian, 26-7. Account 
of Tamburlaine, 28, 36, 37, 38, 69, 

82, 85, 288 and n., 297 n., 299 n,, 

306. Quoted, 298 
Furies, Marlowe's references to, 

149-50 n. 
furniture, 139 w. 

gabions, 231 m. 

Garcio, Don, de Silva, 308 

Gaudius, historian, 18, 34 

Gazellus, 181 n. 

Genoese merchant, legend of, 29, 
295 and n. Marlowe's adaptation 
of, 122 n., 295 n. 

giantly, log n. 

Giovio, historian, 27, 28, 30, 35, 
292 n., 306 

Gorgon, 138 n. 

Granucci, historian, 28, 29. 
Account of Tamburlaine, 33, 35, 
38, 92, 125, 157, 181, 292 n., 
294 w., 307 

Greece, Bajazet's conquest of and 
empire in, iiy n., 126 n., 135 w., 

Greene, R., reference to Tambur- 
laine, 6-8, 12-13, 266 w. 

Greg, W. W., 62 n. 

Gruget, C, historian, 286, 292 n., 



Hakluyt, 187 n., 235 n. 

Half-title, of Part II, Oi_3, 2-3 

Hall, Virgidemiarum, 68 

Hamlet, 100 n., ijon., 240 w. 

Hammer-Purgstall, J. v., 24 w., 
29 n., 292 n., 305 

Hannibal, compared with Tambur- 
laine, 301 

Harington, translator of Ariosto, 
45 w. 

Harriott, mathematician, 48 

Hart, H. C, 305 

Harvey, scientist, 8g n., 112 n. 

Haytoun, historian, account of 
Tamburlaine, 17, 18, 27 and n., 
100, 254, 306. Marlowe's know- 
ledge of, 22-3 n., 26 n., 28 n., 36, 
38. Quoted, 254 n. 

Hazlitt, W. C, on Oi, 4 

Heading, of Part I, O1-4, 68 ; of 
Part II, Oi_4, 182 

Henry IV, Part I, 249 n. 

Henry IV, Part II, 254 n. 

Henry V, 165 w. 

Henry VI, Part III, 107 n. 



Henslowe, references to Tambur- 

laine, 61-2, 149 n. 
Herford, C. H., on sources of Tam- 

burlaine, 286, 304 
Hero and Leander, 50, 58, 89 n., 

98 n., 150 n., 169 n., 171 n. 
Herodotus, 95 n., 100 ns., 260 n. 
Hesiod, 130 w. 
Hey wood, T., 11 
Hill, W., publisher, 67 
Homer, 93 n., 100 n., 146 n. 
Homeric Hymn, 255 w. 
Horace, Marlowe's knowledge of, 

52, 60, 161 n., 177 w., 216 n., 

259 n. 
Hubbard, F. G., 305 
Hiibner, E., 304 
Humours, 195 n., 273-4 n. See also 

under Elements 
Huntington Library, early Tambur- 

laine octavos in, i, 3 
Hyrcania, Timur's invasion of, 25 

Ignatius, B., 297 

India, 19, 25-6, 106 n., 136 n. 

Ingram, J. H.. 304 

investion, 77 n. 

Iphigeneia in Tauris, 90 n. 

Ispahan, 25 n., 157 n., 295 n. 

Ive, P., connection with Walsing- 
ham family, 9-10. Practise of 
Fortification, 8-10, 45 and n., 
197 n., 225 ns., 226 n. 

Jaxartes, 60, 100 n., 246 n. 

Jenghiz Khan, 19, 20, 106 n. 

Jerusalem, King of, 181 n. 

Jew of Malta, 137 n. 

Jones, R., printer, 67, 104 n., 134 n. 

Julian, Papal Legate, 42-3 


Kastner, L. E., 305 

Keats, and Marlowe, 51 

Kellner, L., 304 

Khans of Tartary, 18-22 ; military 

genius of, 19 
King John, 75 n., 90 n., no n. 
Knolles, historian, 34, 308 
Koeppel, E., 304 
Koran, the, 211 n. 
Kublai Khan, 19, 20 
Kwand Amir, account of Timur, 23, 


Lachryma Christi, 204 n. 
Lamb, C, Specimens, 16 
Langbaine, G., on authorship of 

Tamburlaine, 13 
Lantchidol, 187 n. 
Larissa, 194 w. 
Latinisms in Marlowe's English ; 

constructions, 74 n., 97 n. ; 

vocabulary, 82 n., 106 n., 141 n., 

157 w., 177 w., 242 M., 272 w. 

Rare mistakes in quantity, 

162 n., 217 n. 
leaguer, 201 n. 
Leunclavius, historian, account of 

Timur, 17, 18, 26 n., 27, 34, 

292 n., 308 
Lonicerus, historian, account of 

Timur and Marlowe's knowledge 

of, 33 and n., 35, 42, 144 w.. 

181 n., 206 n., 211 n., 300 w., 

307 w. Quoted, 181 n., 206 n., 

211 n. 
Love's Labour's Lost, 114 n. 
Lucan, Marlowe's knowledge of and 

possible reminiscences, 52, 60, 

131 n., 138 n., 161 n. 
Lucretius, 123 n., 147 n. 
Lydgate, 237-8 n., 280 n. 


Macbeth, 121 n., 131 n., 151 n., 

170 n., 196 n., 252 n. 
Machiavelli, 223 w. 
Mackail, J. W., 113 w. 
McKerrow, R. B., 3 and n., 4, 67 n., 


Macrobius, 145 n. 

Madness, Marlowe's treatment of, 
170 n., 247 n. 

Magni Tamerlanis . . . Vita. See 

Mahomet, Tamburlaine 's attitude 
to, 7, 266 n. 

Mahometan beliefs, Marlowe's refer- 
ences to, 92 n. 

Malone, E., on authorship of 
Tamburlaine, 14 and n. 

Mambrino, see Fabriano 

manage, 272 w. 

Maps, Marlowe's use of, 46-8 

Marlowe, C, authorship of Tambur- 
laine, 11-16. Treatment of his 
sources; general, 34-5, 38-41, 
48-52 ; Mexia, 38-41 ; Peron- 
dinus, 38-41 ; see also under 
Ariosto, Belleforest, Haytoun, 



Lonicerus, etc. ; relative slight- 
ness of his debt, 50-2. Treatment 
of Tamburlaine ; interpretation 
of character of Timur, 18, 40, 48- 
51 ; af&nity with Perondinus 
here, 32 ; original significance of 
figure of Timur, 52-3 ; changes 
in this conception as play- 
advances, 53-4 ; ultimate funda- 
mental misinterpretation of 
Timur, 58-9 ; the essential value 
of this, 60-1. His scholarship, 
51-2 ; see also under Aristotle, 
Cicero, Horace, Lucan, Ovid, 
Virgil, etc. ; see also under 
Astronomy,Cosmology, Elements, 
Humours, Latinisms, Maps, 
Ortehus, Physiology, Tartars, 
Timur Khan, the historians in 
general, etc. 

Marquardsen, A., 304 

mated, 73 n. 

Mauretania, 126 n. 

Media, boundaries and position of, 
76 n., 97 n. 

Mercantam (Merchantum), Timur 's 
capital, 298, 302 

metaphysical, 252 w. 

Metre and prosody, notes on, 71, 78, 
82, 95, 96, 102, 105, 106, 113, 117, 
141, 150, 162, 166, 167, 171, 171- 
2, 175, 203, 266, 270, 271 

Mexia, Pedro, historian, account of 
Tamburlaine, 18, 26, 28 n., 29, 
30-1, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 299 w., 
307. His sources, 290 w., 297. 
Marlowe's modification of his 
account, 48-50. References to 
and quotations in notes, 69, 82, 
85, 122. 125, 127, 140, 144, 156-7, 
158, 171, 181, 183 

Meyer, E., 304 

Millet, R. P., 216 >?. 

Milton, comparison with, 52, 147 w. 

Mitford, T., 132, 165, 178, 226, 304 

Mommsen, C. J. T., 304 

Mongols, see Tartars 

Moor, Marlowe's use of name, 200 n. 

Morocco (Moroccus), 116 w., 128 n. 

Muenster, cosmographer, 33, 35, 

Mulfazat, 297, 306 
Mycetes, character of, 40, 56, 65, 

72-3 n., 103 n. 


Nashe, T., Tamburlaine attributed 
to, 14 

Natolia, 183 >z. 

Neilson, W. A., editor, 286 

Nemesis, loi n., 233 n. 

Newnes, edition, 285 

Newton, T., translator of Curio, 28, 
33 and n., 35, 125 n., 181 n., 
248 w., 292 w., 294 w., 302, 307. 
Supposed author of Tamburlaine, 

Nicholay, N., 81 w., 116 n., 125 w., 
127 M., 135 w. Quoted, 127 w., 
185 n. 


Octavos, the four early, 1-6 ; their 
relations, 5-6, 281-2, 151 n. ; 
of 1590 (Oj), v-viii, 1-2, 67, 
134 w., 281-2, 283-4, 285, 303; 
of 1593 (O2), 2, 67, 283-4 ; of 
1597(03). 2-3. 5. 67, 281-2, 303; 
of 1605/6 (O4), 3-4, 67, 281-2, 
303. Supposed earlier edition of 
Oi, 4-5 ; of 1592, identified 
with O2, 4-5 

Olympia, source of character and 
episode of, 44-5 and n. 

Orcanes, 41-2, 55, 181 n. 

Orestes, 89 n. 

orifex, 232 n. 

Orlando Furioso, see Ariosto 

Ortelius, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 
Marlowe's use of, 47-8, 52, and 
notes to, 72, 76, 77, 82, 95, 97, 
116, 135, 184, 185, 187, 188, 201, 
202, 203, 205-6, 240, 243, 246 

Othello, 185 n. 

Ovid, Marlowe's knowledge and 
possible reminiscences of, 52, 60, 
and notes to, 81, 85, 87, 90, 93, 
loi, 109, 112, 114, 122, 123, 129, 
143, 146, 149, 150, 161, 167, 185, 
186, 192, 200, 201, 216, 223, 224, 
255, 259, 263 

Paleologus, Manuel, Emperor, iiy n. 
Palmerius, historian, 26, 28, 35, 

297 n., 306 
Panama Canal, Marlowe's apparent 

anticipation of, 135 w. 
parcel, 156 n. 
Parthia, 76 n. Parthian origin of 

Tamburlaine, 287 
pathetical, 88 n. 
Perondinus, historian, account of 

Tamburlaine, 26, 28 n., 29, 31-2, 

33. 34> 36, 37. 38, 39, 40, and 
notes to 69, 81, 82, 85, 92, 93, 122, 



125, 127, 132, 144, 156, 158, 168, 
169, 258, 273, 288, 289, 292, 294, 
296, 299, 307. Marlowe's affinity 
with his account, 32 ; and 
modifications of it, 48-50. 
Quoted, 300-1, 301-2, and in 
notes to 94, 127, 185, 266-7 

Persae, 100 n. 

PersepoHs, 70 n., 95 n., 106 n. 

Persia, 76 w., 106 w., 117 w. Tam- 
burlaine's connection with, 19, 
28, 28 n., 37, 289, 298, 299 n. 

Petis de la Croix, historian, 308 

Phelps, W. L., 285 

Phillips, E., on authorship of Tam- 
burlaine, 13, 15 

Phrantzes, historian, account of 
Timur, 17, 23-4, 29, 292 n., 306 

Physiology, Marlowe's knowledge 
of, 89 w., lion., 112 n., 153 w., 
232 n., 274 n. 

Pindar, 129 w. 

Pinkerton, P. E., editor, 284 

Pirates, Algerian, 127 %. 

pitch, 93 n. 

Pius II, Pope and historian, 27, 29, 
35, 100 n., 157 w., 292 w., 294 M., 
295, 297 n., 306 

Platina, historian, 26, 28, 35, 297 n., 

Plato, 161 n. The wondrous year 
of, 144-5 n. Thought of, in- 
directly affecting Marlowe's, 
112 n. 

Plutarch, 235 n. 

Podesta, historian, 26 n., 292 w., 
293 n., 300 n., 308 

Polo, Marco, 20, 22 

Praz, M., 305 

precinct, 79 n. 

Primaudaye, historian, 26, 28 n., 
34 and n., 36, 37, 38, 69 n., 82 n., 
85 w., 140 w., i^/^n., i6gn., 
292 n., 299 n., 300 n., 308 

prolocutor, 87-8 n. 

Prose passages in Tamburlaine, 
almost invariably suggest cor- 
ruption, 104 w., 149 w., 193 w., 
222 n., 239 w., 241 w. Perhaps 
intentional use of, 170 w. Recast 
as verse, 154 and n. See also 
Comic passages. 

Ptolemaeus, 113 w. 

Ptolemaic system, 60, 85-6 n. See 
also Astrology, Astjonomy, Cos- 
mology . 

Punctuation of Oj, value of, v-viii, 
187 n. 

Purchas, 34, 306 
purchase, 108 n. 


Quarto of 1590, references to a, 4 
Quarto of 1600, references to a, 5 
Quarto of 1605/6, 3 n. 


Ralegh, Sir W., 31 n., 48, 140 n., 
147 n. 

Ramus, see Sagundinus 

record, 269 w. 

region of the air, 142 n. 

renied, 116 n. 

resolve, 74 n. 

retorqued, 167 w. 

Richard II, 280 n. 

Richard III, 79 n. 

Richier, historian, 32-3, 35, 307 

Robinson, G., editor, 11-12, 282, 
303. References in notes and 
notes by, 73, 90, 99, 131, 146, 167, 
184, 191, 197, 204, 229, 264, 273, 

Rogers, F., 304 

Romeo and Juliet, 95 n., 243 n. 
Routledge, edition, 285 
Rowe, Tamerlane, 62 
Rubruquis, 18, 22, 305 
runagates, 127 w. 

Sacra-Bosco, T. de, 145 n. 
Sagundinus, 33, 35, 181 n., 292 n., 

Samarqand, 19, 20-1, 25, 32, 39, 

60, 137 w., 246 w., 258 w., 290 w., 

296 and n. 
Saunders, C, Tamerlane the Great, 

15. 62 
Schelling, F. E., editor, 285 
Schiltberger, T., historian, 18, 19, 

22, 23 w., 25 w., 136 w., 139 w., 

157 w., 258 w., 264 w., 266 w., 

293 n., 295 n., 300 n., 306 
Schipper, T. S., 304 
Scourge of God, sources of the 

phrase, 29, 32, 39, 296 
Scythia and Scythians, 69 n., 72 n., 

j8n., 154 M., 298, 302. See also 

under Tartary, Tartars 
Seafaring terms, Marlowe's relative 

ignorance of, Sy n., iiy n. 
Seaton, E., 27, 33 ns., 42, 45 n., 47 

and ns., 305. References in notes 

and notes by, 47, 65, 119, 125, 



140, 154, 171, 181, 183, 184, 185, 
186, 187, 192, 194, 199, 201-2, 
203, 204, 205-6, 211, 220-1, 221, 
229, 235, 235-6, 237, 240, 243, 
254, 260, 273 

Sebastia, 25, 157 n., 293, 295 n. 

Second part of Tamburlaine, re- 
lations to first part, 41, 42, 44, 50, 
54, 61, 182 n. 

securities, 157 n. 

Semiramis, 236 n., 263 n. 

Seneca, 60, 124 n., 167 n., 223 n., 
280 n. 

Shakespeare, 57, 103 w., ijon. 

Sharaf-al-Din (Sheraf-ed-Din), 297, 

Shute, J., translator of Cambinus, 
27, 33, 35, 289 n., 292 n., 294 n., 

Sigismund, 41, 181 n. 
silly, 78 w., 79 w. 

Silya de varia lection. See Mexia 
Soldan of Egypt, 40, 65, 77 n. 
Sons of Tamburlaine, 44, 181 n., 

296 and n. 
Sophocles, 57, 89 n. 
Soul, nature of, 112-13W., 246 w., 

277 n., 279 n. 
Spanish Tragedy, 65 
Spelling, of Oi, value of, v-vi, 

112 n., 150-1 n. 
Spense, L., iign., 305 
Spenser, 76 n., 167 n., 169 n. Lines 

common to Faery Queene and 

Tamburlaine, 259 n. 
Stage-craft, weakness in, 91 n. 
Stage Directions, of O^, viii, 123 m. 
Stationers' Register, 6, 67 n. 
Statins, Achilleid, 93 n. 
Stella, Mount, 302 
Stroheker, F., 305 
Structure of play, 55-7 
Suckling, Sir J., reference to Tam- 
burlaine, 14 
Suez Canal, Marlowe's anticipation 

of, 275 n. 
sulphur balls, 224 n. 
Symonds, J. A., 285 
Syria (Soria), 77 n., 181 n., 221 n. 

Marlowe's use of two names, 

186 n. 

tainted, 196 n. 

Tamburlaine, see Timur 

Tamburlaine, sources of the play, 
17-48. Marlowe's treatment of 
sources, 48-61. Stage history of 

the play, 61-2. See also under 
Marlowe, Timur, etc. 

Tamerlane the Great, see Saunders 

Taming of a Shrew, 86 n. 

Tanner, T., 15 

taratantaras, 244 n. 

tartar, 247 n. 

Tartars and Tartary, 18-19, 19-22, 
72 n. Limited knowledge of in 
Elizabethan England, 22-3, 24 n., 
154 n., 294 n., 300 n. Peron- 
dinus's picture and Marlowe's, 
49-50, 94 w- Military genius 
realized by Europeans, 98 n. 

Techelles, 44, 65 

Tennyson, 235 n. Ulysses, 123 n. 

Tents, episode of, 29, 37, 139 w., 
294 and n., 302, 303 

Text, condition of. Indications of 
alterations, 128 n. Instance of 
extreme corruption, 163-4 ^- ^^^ 
also under Comic passages, Prose 
and the collations generally 

Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, see 

Theocritus, 129 n., 169 n. 

theoria, 253 w. 

Theridamas, 39, 40, 54-5 

Thevet, A., Cosmographie Univer- 
selle, 273 n. 

Tibullus, 169 w. 

timeless, 280 n. 

Timur Khan, accounts of ; general, 
17, 18-22 ; Byzantine, 23-6 ; 
Clavijo's, 299-300 and n. ; Euro- 
pean, early sixteenth century, 26- 
30 ; Fregoso's, 298 ; Mexia's, 30- 
I, 38-41, 287-97 ; Perondinus's, 
31-2, 38-41 ; European, late 
sixteenth century, 32-4 ; common 
saga that reached Marlowe, 35-6 
and n. ; westernization of story, 
87 n. His conquests, 289, 293. 
Boundaries of his empire, 297 ; 
its disintegration, 195 n., 297. 
His military discipline, 290 and 
n. His siege operations, iign. 
Paucity of records, 289 and n., 
297. His appearance, 301-2. 
Marlowe's presentation of the 
character, 85 w. ; 78 w., 129 w., 
217 M., 272 n. See also under 

Title pages of Part I (O^.J, 1-3 ; 
of Part II (O4), 4 ; for Part II 
Oi_3, see Half-title 

Tragic perception, in Tamburlaine, 
50, 56-7 



Trebizon, i8i n., 221 n. 

Tripoly, 126 n. 

Troilus and Cressida, g6 n., 232 w. 

Turks, Marlowe's knowledge of, 40, 

42-3, 140 M. ; and treatment of, 

125 n., 291-2 
Twelfth Night, 121 n. 


Underworld, Marlowe's picture of, 

223 n. 
Usumcasane, Emperor, 297 
Usamcasane, character, 65 


valurous, 81 n. 

Varna, battle of, 33, 41, 43, 183 n. 

Vattier, P., 308 

Virgil, Marlowe's knowledge of and 
possible reminiscences, 5^2 , 60, 
S^n., ii^n., ii6n., 169 w., 173 w., 
216 n., 223 w., 224 w., 254 w., 
259 n., 263 n., 280 n. 

Vladislaus of Poland, at battle of 
Varna, 42, 43 

Volpone, 259 w. 


Wagner, A., on the octavos, 4-5, 
5-6, 281-2; editor, 284 w., 285, 
286, 304 ; on sources of Tambur- 
laine, 286, 304. References in 
notes and notes by, 74, 76, 83, 89, 
100, 118, 131, 132, 150, 159, 164, 
175, 203, 214, 229, 242, 249, 256, 

Walsingham, family of, 9-10 

Wann, L., 305 

Washington, Navigations . . ., 305 

wean, 79 n. 

White, E., publisher, 67 n. 

White Library, early Tamburlaine 

octavo in, 3 
White, W., printer, 67 
Wife of Bajazet, 25 and n., 32, 

132 n., 300-1 and n. See also 

Wife of Timur, 23, 36, 77-8 n. See 

also Zenocrate 
Winter's Tale, 88 n. 
witty, 104 w. 
Wood, A., 13 


Xenophon, Marlowe's debt to, 49 
Xerxes, compared with Tambur- 
laine, 100 n., 118 n., 291, 298 


Yale University Dramatic Associa- 
tion, 62, 286 
y-sprung, 130 n. 

Zabina, wife of Bajazet, 65 

Zanzibar, Marlowe's account of, 46, 
47, 202 n. 

zenith, 222 n., 233 n. 

Zenocrate, Marlowe's development 
of from slight sources, 36-7, 40, 
44, 54 n., 56, 65. His treatment 
of the character, gin., 120 n., 
152 n., 214 n. 

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